This last February, in a ruling that rejected driver William Robert Bernard’s challenge, the Minnesota Supreme Court said: “charging Bernard with criminal test refusal does not implicate a fundamental right.”
It’s difficult to guess what the Supreme Court will do in these cases. The Fourth Amendment gives people the right to be secure in their person. If a police officer has probable cause of pulling someone over because they have a reason to believe a person is drunk driving they may do so. Officers have the right to detain someone until they have a reason to assure a driver is drunk or sober. This does not give them the right to search the drivers car or person unless there is further probable cause. I’m pretty sure an officer would have the right to detain a driver while a warrant is obtained from a judge. This takes time but could be reasonable in order to avoid unconstitutional searches. In 2013, the Supreme Court limited the ability of police to take involuntary blood samples of suspected drunk drivers without a search warrant. The laws in question penalize people who refuse to take alcohol test which may include urine, breath, or blood. This will most likely demand changes to laws covering blood tests. If a person is already arrested, there may be no need to further search them unless it’s a Terry frisk for safety purposes. According to the state lawyers, the laws are for people already arrested for drunk driving. This may be to assure someone is drunk or for even documentation purposes. In which cases a warrant would always assure a constitutional test. Officers may want to obtain a warrant as soon as possible to an accurate BAC level. Much is at conflict in these cases.