Congressional Digest

Supreme Court Debates February 2013 No. 2 Vol. 16
Warrantless Blood-Alcohol Tests

Warrantless Blood-Alcohol Tests

Expanded Police Powers During Routine DWI Arrests

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In the early morning hours of October 3, 2010, Corporal Mark Winder of the Missouri State Highway Patrol was on duty in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri. He observed a truck exceeding the speed limit and moving erratically, so he stopped the vehicle. He noticed that the driver, Tyler G. McNeely, displayed signs of intoxication — such as bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and the smell of alcohol on his breath.

Winder asked McNeely to take a sobriety field test, on which he performed poorly. Winder requested that McNeely undergo a portable breath test, but McNeely refused. Winder then arrested McNeely for driving…

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