Thursday, December 18, 2014

Idaho Supreme Court Upholds Suppression of Illegal Blood Draw

Posted By on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 1:51 PM

The Idaho Supreme Court handed down a ruling Thursday, upholding a lower court's ruling which suppresses the results of a blood alcohol test taken by a warrantless, nonconsensual blood draw.

It was December 2012 when Derek Arrotta was stopped by Idaho State Police for an alleged traffic infraction. ISP said they detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage. But Arrotta refused to participate in a breath test. Police took Arrotta to a local hospital where a sample of Arrotta's blood was drawn.

But Arrotta's attorney filed a motion to suppress that evidence, saying it was an unreasonable search and seizure. And a Magistrate Court ruled that consent was required and suppressed the blood test results. The State appealed to a district court which affirmed the ruling and the Idaho Supreme Court ultimately agreed that the suppression order should stand.

Idaho State Police say they have since changed their operating procedures by securing warrants for forced blood draws, but some local and county law enforcement agencies will now have to follow suit.

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