Supreme Court May Review Colorado DUI Case, Blood Test Issues

December 8, 2014

A Colorado DUI case involving issues with the Fourth Amendment and taking blood samples from suspects may be reviewed by the Supreme Court as early as January.

A Colorado DUI case involving issues with the Fourth Amendment and taking blood samples from suspects may be reviewed by the Supreme Court as early as January.

A Colorado DUI case involving issues regarding blood evidence may be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court as early as January, as Arapahoe County prosecutors backed by 13 other states have petitioned the high court to review this case. The issue central to this Colorado DUI case is blood evidence that was drawn from the defendant in the case – Jack Schaufele – without a warrant and without his consent, as he was unconscious at the time his blood was taken.

Prosecutors are now asking the Supreme Court to overturn the decisions made by a state judge and the Colorado Supreme Court, which found that the blood evidence was illegally obtained and may not be presented as evidence against Schaufele.

If the Supreme Court agrees to review and rule on this Colorado DUI case, there could be far-reaching national implications regarding whether:

  • Warrants (i.e., a judge’s approval) are needed to take blood samples from unconscious DUI suspects.
  • There should be some exceptions to people’s Fourth Amendment rights, which protect them from illegal search and seizure.

Details of the Colorado DUI Case

According to court documents associated with this Colorado DUI, Schaufele was driving on the morning of May 30, 2013, when he crashed in a busy intersection in Greenwood Village. Law enforcement officials responding to the scene just after 7 am reported that:

  • Schaufele’s SUV had collided with a Honda Accord, injuring the driver of that vehicle.
  • Schaufele seemed disoriented and had impaired speech after the accident, which officers reasoned was due to the collision and/or possible intoxication.

Schaufele was taken to the hospital, along with the other injured driver, at which time a different officer not at the accident reportedly smelled alcohol on Schaufele’s breath. Although this officer attempted to obtain Schaufele’s consent to draw his blood, Schaufele had fallen asleep and did not consent to the blood draw.

Despite this and the fact that no warrant had been obtained for the blood draw, Schaufele’s blood was taken while he was passed out. BAC testing of the blood sample taken from Schaufele revealed that his BAC was reportedly over three times the legal limit (i.e., greater than 0.24). Now, it may be up to the high court to decide whether such evidence should be considered illegal and, on a greater scope, whether there may be exceptions to our Fourth Amendment protections.

As more news on this controversial case and issue become available, we will report it to you here.

Denver and Boulder Metro Area Criminal Defense Lawyer at the Griffin Law Firm

Have your or a loved one been arrested for DUI? If so, you can turn to the Denver and Boulder Metro Area DUI defense lawyer at Griffin Law Firm for the strongest possible defense against police and prosecutors – both outside and inside of the courtroom.

Regardless of whether you are facing criminal charges for the first time, have prior convictions and/or were on probation or parole at the time of the alleged crime, our trusted Denver and Boulder DUI defense attorney will work relentlessly to help you obtain the best possible outcome to your case. In fact, our steadfast dedication to the notion that the accused are innocent until proven guilty means that we will do everything in our power to help you resolve your case in the most favorable and efficient manner possible.

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Categories: Blogs, Criminal Defense News, Criminal Defense Strategies, DUI, Fourth Amendment