United States Supreme Court – Missouri v. McNeely

Most New Jersey DWI law comes from Appellate Division decisions, sometimes from our Supreme Court. Rarely do they come from the United States Supreme Court. Missouri v. McNeely, which was recently argued before the United States Supreme Court, is an exception to this generalization.

In this case, a blood sample was taken from a defendant to determine the content of alcohol in his blood. The defendant did not agree to give this sample and no Warrant was obtained from a Judge ordering that it be taken. The defendant argues that the taking of a sample of blood without prior court order is a violation of his 4th Amendment rights and that the results of the blood test therefore should not be considered by the court to determine the defendant’s blood alcohol content.

The importance of this case cannot be overstated as New Jersey law has no requirement that a Warrant be first issued by the court before blood can be drawn. A decision for the defendant in this case may allow blood draws to be challenged in our State.