Published on:

Oregon DUII: Constitutional Right Not to Give a Blood Sample?

By

1) From Salem’s Statesman Journal:

Oregon’s high court explores the limits of consent, State’s top lawyers argue case that could alter drunken-driving enforcement, by Peter Wong, Statesman Journal, December 17, 2009:

Excerpt: “…… The arguments by two of the state’s top lawyers were heard by the Oregon Supreme Court, which has before it a Sept. 30 decision by a divided Oregon Court of Appeals that would require police to obtain search warrants before they can draw blood samples from some suspected drunken drivers…

This case involves Thomas Gregory Machuca of West Linn, whose blood was drawn after a June 1, 2005, crash in Portland but who failed to persuade a trial judge to suppress evidence of his blood alcohol level. (It was 0.20 percent, above the legal limit of 0.08 percent.) He said it violated his state constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Chief Justice Paul De Muniz asked Kroger whether there was a constitutional right for someone not to give a blood sample against his will….
….
Oregon and virtually every other state have “implied-consent” laws, under which people who obtain driver’s licenses agree to submit to breath, blood and urine tests — refusal of which can cost them to lose their licenses or pay fines. Oregon’s law dates to 1965…..
….
His case was argued twice before the Oregon Court of Appeals, which decided Sept. 30 on a 6-4 vote in Machuca’s favor….”
(link to full Statesman-Journal article)

2) Read the September 30, 2009, State v. Muchaca, Court of Appeals case (A133362)

3) See also posts at the Oregon DUI Blog.

4) Oregon DOJ Press Advisory: AG Kroger To Argue Important Duii Case Before Oregon Supreme Court, December 16, 2009