Warrantless Blood Tests, Drunk Driving, and "Exigent Circumstances": Preserving the Liberty Guarantee of the Fourth Amendment While Evolving the Exceptions to the Warrant Requirement

By Sabino, Michael A.; Sabino, Anthony Michael | The Review of Litigation, Winter 2015 | Go to article overview

Warrantless Blood Tests, Drunk Driving, and "Exigent Circumstances": Preserving the Liberty Guarantee of the Fourth Amendment While Evolving the Exceptions to the Warrant Requirement


Sabino, Michael A., Sabino, Anthony Michael, The Review of Litigation


PREFACE............................................................................................28

I. INTRODUCTION..........................................................................30

II. THE FOURTH AMENDMENT AND WARRANTLESS SEARCHES: ESTABLISHING THE FOUR CORNERSTONES OF THE LIBERTY GUARANTEE PROHIBITING UNREASONABLE SEARCHES AND SEIZURES...................................................................................34

A. The First Cornerstone: Reasonableness as an Imperative for Warrantless Searches..................................................36

B. The Second Cornerstone: When the Clear and Present Danger of the Destruction of Evidence Excuses a Warrantless Search...........................................................39

C. The Third Cornerstone: Brigham City v. Stuart and the Advent of the Totality of the Circumstances Test..............43

D. The Fourth Cornerstone: ''Exigent Circumstances " and the Fourth Amendment-The Kentucky v. King Formulation.......................................................................47

III. SCHMERBER AS THE ROOT OF THE MODERN CONTROVERSY......56

IV. MCNEELY: A CONFIRMATION OF THE TOTALITY OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES TEST..............................................................66

V. A POSTSCRIPT: MARYLAND V. KING AND THE FUTURE OF THE FOURTH AMENDMENT...............................................................90

VI. ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY..................................................94

A. Ker 's Reasonableness Requirement..................................94

B. The Destruction-of-Evidence Doctrine as a Check on Warrantless Searches........................................................96

C. Brigham City's Totality of the Circumstances................106

D. King 's Exigent Circumstances........................................108

E. McNeely's Incorporation of the Four Cornerstones......Ill

VII. OUR CODA..............................................................................115

VIII. CONCLUSION...........................................................................116

PREFACE

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons . . . shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause ... ."1

In the noble experiment of American freedom, the Fourth Amendment serves as a protection for our system of ordered liberty. The Fourth Amendment is unyielding in requiring governmental agents to obtain a warrant before conducting a search of a citizen or property. A warrant is issued only upon a showing of good cause made before a "neutral and detached magistrate."2 The Fourth Amendment keeps the American people free from insidious or petty governmental intrusions into their homes, their properties or possessions, and most of all, their persons.

Yet as inviolate as the liberty guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment is known to be, it has its exceptions-"[A] warrantless search of the person is reasonable only if it falls within a recognized exception."3 Over many decades, the Supreme Court has meticulously crafted a parsimonious set of exceptions to the warrant requirement. Grounded upon what the Supreme Court has decreed as "exigent circumstances," the Justices have further combined these exceptions by creating a body of limitations based upon both the totality of the circumstances and reasonableness.4

At the confluence of these many facets of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence is a surprising issue: drunk-driving arrests5 and the subsequent warrantless taking of the suspect's blood sample for testing.6 Decades ago, the Supreme Court held that in proper and strictly delimited circumstances, a warrantless blood test taken in a drunk-driving scenario might pass constitutional muster.7 The Supreme Court continues to wrestle with the boundaries of that exception, as the Justices remain overtly vigilant in confining the exception within the borders erected by the Court over the years. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Warrantless Blood Tests, Drunk Driving, and "Exigent Circumstances": Preserving the Liberty Guarantee of the Fourth Amendment While Evolving the Exceptions to the Warrant Requirement
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.