U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Wisconsin Drunken Driving Case

State Law Says Law Enforcement Can Draw Blood From Unconscious Driver Without Warrant If Drunken Driving Is Suspected

U.S. Supreme Court
Shawn Johnson/WPR

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to a Wisconsin drunken driving law that has parallels in other states.

Wisconsin law says law enforcement officials can draw blood from an unconscious driver without a warrant if they suspect the person was driving drunk.

The case the court agreed Friday to hear involves Gerald Mitchell. He was arrested in Sheboygan for driving while intoxicated in 2013 in Wisconsin. Mitchell was too drunk to take a breath test and became unconscious after being taken to a hospital. His blood was then drawn without a warrant.

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Mitchell was ultimately convicted of driving while intoxicated.

Mitchell said the blood draw was a search that violated his constitutional rights, but Wisconsin’s Supreme Court upheld his convictions. Mitchell said 29 states have similar laws.