The Supreme Court ruled on April 17, 2013, that police must try to obtain a search warrant before ordering blood tests for drunken-driving suspects. The case stemmed from the arrest of a Missouri man. The state trooper stopped the man for speeding and swerving his car. The driver, who had two previous drunken-driving convictions, refused to submit to a breath test to measure the alcohol level in his body. Nevertheless, the State Trooper drove the driver to a hospital and a technician drew blood from the driver, who was handcuffed throughout the process.
Although a powerful decision, this case should not have direct impact on DUI cases in Pennsylvania because a refusal is not considered a separate crime, but an enhancement for sentencing. However, this decision may impact and cast doubt on the constitutionality of the enhancement practice and whether it would be permissible in light of the recent decision.