Forced Blood Draws After Arrest for Drunk Driving

What happens if you are arrested for drunk driving in Columbus, you have two prior convictions for DUI, and you refuse to submit to a chemical test, such as a breath test?  First, your driver’s license will be suspended under Ohio’s Implied Consent law.  Second, the police officer can use “whatever reasonable means are necessary to ensure that the person submits to a chemical test of the person’s whole blood or blood serum or plasma.”  In other words, the officer can take you to have your blood forcibly drawn for the purpose of having it tested.  Third, you will be charged with Operating a Vehicle Impaired with a prior conviction within 20 years and having refused a chemical test, which carries increased mandatory criminal penalties.

What about the constitution?  Doesn’t a person have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, such as a forced blood draw by the police?  Shouldn’t the police be required to obtain a warrant before forcing a blood draw?  Most people would assume that the police would need a search warrant, based upon probable cause and issued by a neutral and detached judge, before they could invade a person’s body through a forced blood draw.  However, the Ohio Supreme Court has determined that the Implied Consent law does not violate the constitution, and that an officer with probable cause for drunk driving arrest does not need a warrant to obtain a sample of the person’s blood.  See, State of Ohio v. Hoover, 123 Ohio St. 3d 418, 2009 Ohio 4993.

Does this mean that if you were arrested in Columbus for DUI and a blood sample was taken without your consent and without a warrant that there is nothing you can do?  Absolutely NOT.  An Experienced DUI/OVI Attorney can still defend your rights by, among other things, challenging whether the arrest was based on probable cause, as well as the manner in which the DUI blood sample was actually taken and analyzed.  Contact a Knowledgeable Drunk Driving Attorney today by calling (614) 454-5010.

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