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New DUI blood test law may contradict the fourth amendment

According to many drivers in the state of Maryland driving is a privilege not a right. When you get behind the wheel of a vehicle you are responsible for what happens. This becomes significantly more true when there are car accidents that may involve drunk drivers.

Though on the opposite side of the country in Washington, a new law recently passed to allow officers the right to check a person's blood without their consent has many people nationwide wondering if people's constitutional rights could be in jeopardy.

According to the new law issued this month, state patrol officers who pull over suspected drunk drivers are allowed to draw blood samples to check blood alcohol content even if the person refuses. In cases where the person refuses, even an innocent driver may be arrested and could have their driver's licenses taken away.

Police officers are hoping that this law will help to reduce the number of drunk drivers and give officers faster response time on DUI and DWI suspicions. People arguing against the new law point out that it seems to be encroaching on the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment which protects an individual's right to be "secure in their persons" unless there is probable cause and a search warrant is provided.

Though no one is denying that drunk driving carries serious consequences and that this new law may decrease the number of drunk driving accidents, many are left wondering whether this law may be too intrusive. It is also likely to raise concerns of contamination, mixed samples, and false positives.

These types of situations leave people open to suspicion which could lead to being wrongly accused of DUIs and DWIs. In cases such as this, people may find themselves in tough legal situations and in need of a criminal defense attorney able to correct any injustices they may suffer.

Source:, "Wash. DUI blood draw law sparks controversy," Mikael Thalen, Sept. 14, 2012

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Law Offices of
James N. Papirmeister, Esq.

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As Published in Washingtonian Magazine | Washington's Best Legal Minds | 2013