In two separate but complementary decisions released Thursday morning, the South Dakota Supreme Court set a bright line that drunk-driving arrest procedures must change. Citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 McNeely decision, law enforcement can’t continue to automatically conduct warrantless blood draws on motorists suspected of driving under the influence, the South Dakota justices unanimously said. They ruled in the case of Lloyd Edwards in Meade County that his blood draw was allowed because it happened on March 25, 2013, prior to the McNeely decision. They ruled in the case of Shauna Fierro in Butte County that the magistrate correctly suppressed the blood drawn involuntarily from her on August 4, 2013. Between them came McNeely. What is next needed is the process that law enforcement can legally use to obtain blood samples from DUI suspects who won’t willingly allow samples to be taken. Justice Lori Wilbur wrote both opinions for the court.
UPDATE: In the Fierro decision, the South Dakota justices said several times that drawing her blood without her consent and without a warrant was a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and, specifically to the South Dakota Constitution, a violation of Article VI, Section 11. (§ 11. Search and seizure. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause supported by affidavit, particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or thing to be seized.) The court noted that it wasn’t invalidating the state law but was ruling the blood sample wasn’t allowed. Justice Wilbur wrote in a footnote on page 17 of the decision: “Fierro’s blood sample was obtained as a result of a
UPDATE 2: In both cases, the suspects verbally and physically resisted blood samples being taken. The court said Fierro told officers she wanted to refuse a blood test and consult with a lawyer. When they proceeded to try to draw blood, she pulled her arm away. The court said Edwards physically and verbally refused to provide a sample. Two officers placed Edwards in a restraint chair, a Taser was held to Edwards’ abdomen and he was told the Taser would be used if he continued to resist. The blood sample was obtained while he was in the restraint chair.