Supreme Court Rules Forced DUI Blood Tests Unconstitutional

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Civil liberty advocates celebrated a major victory on Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional for law enforcement officers to perform forced blood tests without a warrant on individuals suspected of a DUI, The Free Thought Project reports.

In Washington, this decision should lead to the overturning of that state’s DUI laws regarding cannabis because, currently, the only official method of testing a driver for THC-impairment is via blood test.

After the 2012 passing of Washington’s I-502, which legalized recreational cannabis, the state also established new DUI laws: in post-legalization Washington, drivers are not allowed to have more than 5 nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood. For regular cannabis consumers, that is an absurdly low limit that essentially negates a regular consumer’s ability to legally drive themselves anywhere.

However, with forced blood tests now declared unconstitutional on a national level, Washington officials must seek a new way of checking drivers for THC impairment.

The Supreme Court decision ultimately ruled that breathalyzers do not require warrants but blood tests do because they are significantly more invasive: they both pierce the skin and leave behind a biological sample in the government’s possession.

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