Recent changes to the law as enacted by the Kentucky Supreme Court have made sound legal advice to almost always refuse a blood test when a driver is suspected of DUI.
The recent Supreme Court case of Commonwealth of McCarthy, 2019-SC-380, which was published April 29, 2021 found that warrantless blood tests are unreasonable. The court opined: For warrantless blood tests, the search is unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment unless valid consent is given or exigent circumstances justify the search. This appeal addresses the ramifications of Jared McCarthy’s exercise of his constitutional right to refuse to take a blood test when stopped for DUI and ultimately convicted of that offense pursuant to Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) 189A.010.
The court upheld the lower court’s refusal to suspend the Defendant’s driver’s license because of the refusal and to not allow the refusal to be used against the defendant by the Commonwealth as proof of impairment. It also upheld the lower court’s decision that a refusal cannot be used to enhance the penalty or minimum jail sentence of the Defendant.
The court did not go so far as to throw out blood tests where the Defendant consents to the test, however the door is open for a contest to whether the consent is valid. In almost all pending cases, the Defendant only consented after he was read rights which included threats from the officer that a refusal would be used against them and could enhance penalties.
If you have any alcohol or drugs in your system and you are suspected of Driving Under the Influence, you should REFUSE a test of your blood. The test can help the prosecution to secure a conviction for DUI. Giving counsel for 25+ years, I would be remiss if I did not advise potential clients to submit to a test if they are positive that there are no drugs or alcohol in their system as it can help prove lack of intoxication.
If you have been charged with DUI or any other crime, you should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. For consultation and representation in Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin by filling out CONTACT information, call 859-581-6453 or email [email protected].