SCOTUS ruling affects OWI Laws

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MADISON (WKOW) — A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court will affect a person’s rights when authorities suspect someone of driving drunk. 

The high court ruled Thursday police officers can draw blood, without a warrant, if someone is unconscious and suspected of driving while intoxicated. 

Criminal defense attorney Patrick Shangl specializes in OWI laws in Wisconsin. He said this ruling questions people’s fourth amendment rights which generally requires police to obtain a warrant to get a  blood sample. 

“When you pierce your skin the court has held repeatedly that is an invasion protected by the fourth amendment so they created an exception that you generally need a warrant,” said Stangl.

Lawyers for a Wisconsin driver who had blood drawn under this situation argued state law violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul praised the court’s decision.

“This law helps protect communities from impaired drivers. We are pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a Wisconsin law that promotes public safety,” Kaul wrote in a statement. 

Emilee Fannon

Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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