Ohio Forced Blood Draws are Constitutional.

In Ohio, as opposed to most States, you do not have the choice of which one of these three tests (blood, breath or urine) you will take. The officer gets to pick the test(s) he offers you. The only choice you get to make is to agree to submit to the test or refuse the test.

In the past, if a motorist declined to provide a sample of blood, breath or urine, the accused driver’s license would automatically be suspended for declining, however there'd be no alcohol test to use as evidence against the motorist. Now the rules have changed just last year, when the Ohio legislature passed a law stating, if an individual with prior DUI / OVI convictions will not submit to a blood, breath or urine test, “the police officer who made the request may make use of whatever reasonable means are necessary to make sure that the individual submits to the required test of the individuals blood.

The law permitting forced blood tests has been recently considered by an Ohio court of appeals in a case where the individual was arrested for DUI / OVI along with prior convictions. The arresting police officer requested that the accused submit to a breathalyzer test, but the defendant declined, therefore the police officer took the defendant to the hospital for blood to be drawn. the defendant stated over and over again they didn't want their blood drawn as well as physically resisted any attempt to perform the procedure. The police officer restrained the defendants arm while the healthcare professional implanted the needle and drew the defendants blood. The trial court ruled that this blood test will be admissible at trial, thus the defendant plead guilty to OVI / DUI. and appealed to the District Court of Appeals.

Upon appeal, the defendant contended that the law permitting forced blood draws is unconstitutional because a forced blood draw happens to be an unreasonable search and seizure. The Court of Appeals found that the intrusion on an individual’s Fourth Amendment interests is outweighed by the promotion of the government’s genuine interest in public safety. Thus, the court came to the conclusion, any forced blood draw with these kinds of circumstances is constitutional.

An Individual with prior DUI / OVI convictions that refuses a breath, urine or blood alcohol test will be in a losing situation: there are going to be longer Administrative License Suspension for declining the test, and also the results of the blood test will be admissible at trial.

Posted in drunk driving, dui, ovi.

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