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Are the Police Allowed to Draw Blood in a DUI Accident Case?

If you are stopped for driving under the influence, make sure you hire an experienced DUI attorney to handle your case. You have rights and it is important to make sure that you understand what you can and cannot do in a DUI case. For example, when are the police allowed to draw your blood in a DUI accident case? Keep reading to find out.

In 2011 and 2012, Wade Liles and John Willis were involved in separate traffic accidents in which someone was killed.  When the police arrived at the scene of the accidents, they began to suspect that Liles and Willis were under the influence of alcohol.  The police asked both men if they would agree to give samples of their blood so that the police could determine what their alcohol content was.  Both men initially refused to give blood samples but later agreed to do so when told that their blood would be forcibly removed if necessary.

A Florida Court just recently ruled in the case of the State of Florida versus Wade Liles and John Willis that it was illegal for the police to have obtained blood samples of the two men in the way that they did.  The Court said that in a typical DUI accident case, the police can legally obtain blood samples in one of three ways:

  1. By getting a search warrant for the blood of the person who was driving the car; or
  1. By getting consent from the person driving the car that the police can obtain a blood sample from him; or
  1. The police have to prove that “exigent circumstances” existed. Exigent circumstances refer to situations requiring immediate action.  The Florida Court said that an exigent circumstance does not typically include the fact that alcohol naturally disappears from someone’s blood as time passes.

If you have been involved in a traffic accident, you have no control over the decision of the police to get a search warrant.  Nor do you have control over the existence of exigent circumstances.  However, you do have control over whether you agree to let the police have a sample of your blood.  It is always your right to “just say no” if the police ask you to give a blood sample.

If you feel your rights have been violated, have been charged with a DUI, or have any questions regarding any Florida or federal defense, contact me Ron Chapman at 561-832-4348. You can also connect with my West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Office online today! I am an experienced criminal defense lawyer and am dedicated to defending your rights. Contact me today so we can begin to discuss your case.