999 Fifth Avenue, Suite 350, San Rafael, CA 94901

Call Today for Your Free Consultation
Call Us 415-729-7300

License Suspension Upheld Where Driver’s Refusal Based on Location of Blood Draw
McLinden v. Commonwealth, Dept. of Transportation, Bureau of Driver Licensing
Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

Unpublished; 2013 WL 5973940

Driver’s conditional consent to blood testing constituted a refusal where he insisted upon the blood draw being at a location other than a police trailer next to a DUI checkpoint that was staffed with a phlebotomist.


State v. Berg (2013)
District Court Tenth Judicial District
County of Anoka (Docket No. 02-CR-13-4444)

DUI suspects have a constitutional right to refuse consent to chemical testing absent a warrant or sufficient exigent circumstances, and the exercise of that right cannot be criminalized. See Camara v. Municipal Court of City and County of San Francisco , 387 U.S. 523, 540 (1967).

“If the exercise of a constitutional right is criminalized the rights afforded United States citizens loses all meaning. The officer, upon learning Defendant was invoking her right to refuse a search had the ability to request a warrant and force Defendant to submit to testing. The officer chose not to get a warrant. The state’s right to test Defendant was lost at that point. Therefore, this Court grants Defendant’s motion and will dismiss County [sic] I of the complaint."


Implied Consent Is Not Fourth Amendment Consent
State v. Butler
232 Ariz. 84, 302 P.3d 609

Independent of the implied consent statute, the Fourth Amendment requires an arrestee's consent to be voluntary to justify a warrantless blood draw. If the arrestee is a juvenile, the youth's age and a parent's presence are relevant factors for a trial court to consider in evaluating whether consent was voluntary under the totality of circumstances.

Are Statutes Criminalizing or Enhancing Sentences Based on Chemical Test Refusals Constitutional?


Read my article on the DUI News Blog (www.duinewsblog.org) about constitutionally suspect DUI Checkpoint operations, many of which are operated right here in California. Call me today, or send me an e-mail, if you desire a consultation about your DUI arrest. 

More On Warrantless Blood Draws - What Constitutes Consent?

In Missouri v. McNeely , which was discussed in our previous post, the United States Supreme Court affirmed its holding in a 1966 case called Schmerber v. California (several California Court of Appeal decisions in the 47-year interim had watered down and misinterpreted Schmerber , declaring that it authorized blood draws without a warrant anytime a person was lawfully arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence). In fact, Schmerber very clearly indicated that a warrant is required except in limited situations where there is no time to get a warrant.

Now that McNeely has overruled those California cases, warrantless blood draws in DUI cases present a bevy of potential issues for suppression of the evidence in the absence of consent.

Back to Top