CALL 205.538.3340

The Law Office of J.D. Lloyd Logo

AfterTheTrial.com... Because There’s Hope After the Trial

BLOG

After The Trial Blog

The After The Trial blog presents insights on ongoing and recent trials around the state of Alabama, including weekly criminal law round-ups.

US Supreme Court Update - Birchfield v. ND

J.D. Lloyd - Friday, June 24, 2016


Birchfield v. North Dakota

Bernard v. North Dakota

Beylund v. North Dakota

 

Summary: During a DUI stop, the Fourth Amendment allows police officers to administer a warrantless breath test as a search incident to arrest, but does not allow for warrantless blood tests as a search incident to arrest. As such, because a warrantless blood draw as a search incident to arrest is prohibited by the Fourth Amendment, the State cannot criminalize the refusal to submit to warrantless blood draws as search incident to arrest under implied consent laws.

 

Background

Every state has some form of “implied consent” law to help law enforcement investigate whether a driver is driving drunk. An “implied consent”  requires a driver to submit to blood-alcohol content (BAC) testing. If you refuse, you could be subject to administrative penalties. In Alabama, you could have your license suspended or be forced to install an Interlock device that tests your breath for alcohol when you start your car.

 

North Dakota’s implied consent law took things a step further: if you refused to submit to breath or blood testing, you could be prosecuted criminally. At the heart of these DUI cases are three questions: (1) Can police force you to submit to a warrantless breath test as a search incident to a DUI arrest? (2) Can police force you to submit to a warrantless blood draw as a search incident to a DUI arrest? (3) Can a state criminalize the refusal of either under its implied consent law?

 

Birchfield was convicted after refusing to submit to a warrantless blood test. Birchfield argued that the warrantless search violated the Fourth Amendment and that the Fourth Amendment prohibited criminalizing his refusal. Bernard was prosecuted for refusing to submit to a warrantless breath test and appealed the constitutionality of the search and criminal prosecution for refusing the breath test. Beylund consented to the blood draw after police told him he had to submit. Beylund appealed the voluntariness of his consent to the draw and the ND Supreme Court affirmed.


REVERSED

 

The Fourth Amendment allows police officers to conduct warrantless searches as incident to a lawful arrest. In the context of a DUI, the Court concluded that law enforcement may order you to submit to a breath test to check BAC as a lawful warrantless search incident to arrest. In the Court’s view, a breath test does not “implicate significant privacy concerns;” however, a blood test does implicate “significant privacy concerns” as it is obviously more intrusive to a suspect’s body. Because of the greater privacy concern and because breath testing is a less-intrusive alternative to check BAC, police cannot conduct a warrantless blood draw as a search incident to arrest. The Court left open the possibility that other warrant exceptions could apply.

 

The Court then applied this holding to the three cases at hand. For Birchfield, the Court said a warrantless draw of Birchfield’s blood would be unconstitutional, so he could not be prosecuted for refusing an unconstitutional search. For Bernard, the Court concluded that the police did not have to get a warrant to force him to submit to a breath test, so the warrantless search was proper under the Fourth Amendment, and thus, his prosecution was constitutional. For Beylund, the Court remanded the case back to the ND SC to determine whether his consent to the blood draw was voluntary given the inaccuracy of the police officer’s instruction.

 

OTHER OPINIONS

 

Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg would have held that the Fourth Amendment prohibits both breath tests and blood draws as searches incident to lawful arrest. Justice Thomas, on the other hand, would have held that the Fourth Amendment allows both breath tests and blood draws as searches incident to lawful arrest.

 

 

If you or someone you know has been convicted of wrongful criminal charges, there is hope after the trial. Contact us today by clicking HERE.



 


Recent Posts


Tags

kidnapping capital offenses moore v texas Jefferson County Alabama clarence thomas gun rights road rage dora alabama anniston alabama, john earle redfearn IV v state christian guitierez baldwin county alabama hurst v florida robberies stanley brent chapman gun control florence alabama brendan dassey implied consent aziz sayyed Thomas Hardiman murder marion county constitutional law, Marengo County Alabama hall v florida Xavier Beasley calhoun county alabama warrantless blood draws street racing Tommy Arthur south carolina netflix domestic abuse lethal injection drugs drug activity abuse Fentanyl Donald Trump, US Supreme Court Update avondale alabama OJ Simpson Justice Sotomayor second amendment car accident Neil Gorsuch adnan syed, Gardendale Alabama keith v state judicial override abduction morgan county alabama st clair county alabama warrior alabama Joshua Reese concealed carry blountsville alabama brian fredick lucas alabama eighth amendment, scotus bomb threat court of criminal appeal releases alfonso morris fairfield alabama, heritage christian university pinson alabama department of justice lamar county birmingham alabama Alabaster alabama prostitution sting mccalla alabama 2016 election, towles v state shooting smith v state underage drinking death penalty ferguson missouri christmas shooting domestic violence stoves v state LWOP CCA update theft kenneth eugene billups state of alabama alabama supreme court ring v arizona ake v oklahoma trussville alabama Rule 32 fraudulent checks nathan woods Kareem Dacar Gaymon theft of property 28 U.S.C. § 2254 baltimore city circuit court alabama criminal law roundup self defense OJ Simpson Made in America sixth amendment battles v state debit card skimming scams edwards v arizona drug trafficking, constitutional violations pelham alabama legende v state executions sarah koenig hurst mandamus mobile alabama bailey v us bessemer alabama lethal injection Tracie Todd death penalty, Dylann Roof parole drug crimes Benn v State hoax destructive devices Guy Terrell Junior § 13A-3-23(d) immunity hearing jerry bohannon fultondale alabama Adamsville alabama beylund v north dakota church robberies birchfield v north dakota fraud unlawful manufacturing Pleasant Grove Alabama illegal gun carry economic growth narcotics investigation texas shelby county criminal justice reform, Lucky D Arcade asia mcclain dekalb county alabama Walker County Alabama state of arizona assault drug possession, mulga alabama limestone county alabama gadsden alabama drug busts tarrant alabama springville alabama tuscaloosa alabama operation bullseye rainbow city alabama animal cruelty campbell v state eric sterling felony assaults forced isolation sheffield v state npr bernard v north dakota Alonzo Ephraim mike gilotti sexual assault montgomery alabama William Pryor Shonda Walker, foley alabama terell corey mcmullin homicide rate decatur alabama Easter alabama law enforcement agency maryland court of special appeals midazolam shoplifting Hillary Clinton, pruitt v state lauderdale county alabama § 13A-3-23 dothan alabama adger alabama Eutaw Alabama negligent homicide madison alabama New York Times burglary Stephen Breyer social media banville v state minor offenses huntsville alabama SCOTUS, russell calhoun brendan dassey, steve avery, making a murderer, scotus, netflix levins v state ex parte briseno strickland v washington public assistance fraud boaz alabama serial greene county alabama editorial embezzlement illegal gambling shooting death armed robbery utah supreme court peyton pruitt kimberly alabama eugene lee jones v state attempted murder drug smuggling nicholas hawkins brookside alabama endangerment of a child mountain brook alabama cherokee county alabama heflin alabama hoover alabama habeas corpus relief betton v state huntsville home repair fraud Malone v State fake kidnapping, criminal justice sentencing law and policy blog summaries capital murder cullman alabama utah v strieff debtor prison mcwilliams v dunn apprendi v new jersey Etowah County Alabama, Ingmire v State eleventh circuit ruling benjamin todd acton breaking and entering moving violations making a murderer steve avery morris alabama mount olive alabama homicide West Alabama criminal mischief fourth amendment fort payne alabama court of criminal appeals capital punishment department of justice, blount county alabama Kay Ivey Woods v State Wesley Adam Whitworth Sardis Alabama Glaze v State identity theft albertville alabama crime of passion drug seizure talladega superspeedway hanceville alabama oneonta alabama abandonment Samuel Alito aiding and abetting Briarwood Presbyterian Church the mannequin challenge operation crackdown court systems, pell city alabama brady v maryland Mike Hubbard arson

Archive

DISCLAIMER

These recoveries and testimonials are not an indication of future results. Every case is different, and regardless of what friends, family, or other individuals may say about what a case is worth, each case must be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances as they apply to the law. The valuation of a case depends on the facts, the injuries, the jurisdiction, the venue, the witnesses, the parties, and the testimony, among  other factors. Furthermore, no representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

Get Free Legal Advice  Contact us for a complimentary legal consultation

I am interested in scheduling a free legal consultation and receiving additional information.

Submitting Form...

The server encountered an error.

Thank you, your  entry has been  received.

© 2017 The Law Office of J.D. Lloyd, LLC. All Rights Reserved. |

 

As required by Rule 7.2(e), Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct, no representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.