Blood of suspected DWI driver can also be tested for drugs

Published 9:36 am Tuesday, January 12, 2016

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Court of Appeals said a search warrant that allows police to test the blood alcohol content of a suspected drunken driver also allows them to check for drugs.

The three-judge panel ruled that search warrants aren’t necessary for additional testing of the blood once it’s been drawn. The ruling Monday reverses a decision from an Anoka County judge who threw out test results showing a motorist, Debra Lee Fawcett, had marijuana and prescription drugs in her system following a 2014 crash in Blaine. No alcohol was found.

Prosecutors argued that once a person’s blood is taken, they should no longer expect privacy in any test results from that sample. According with a press release,  the appeals court agreed with prosecutors, saying that additional testing for drugs in a DWI case is not unreasonable.

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