What is Required to Get a Blood Draw Search Warrant in  a NC DWI Case?the good stuff

Not very much. In the usual NC DWI arrest, a person is arrested at the street after a traffic stop or DWI checkpoint and is then taken to the police station. They are explained their implied consent “rights” and then requested to submit to breathalyzer or “breath testing.” The driver, now suspect, complies, and a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is rendered. However, not everyone willingly agrees to such testing and refuse to “blow.” Now what happens? I have intentionally highlighted “rights” because they really are no longer “rights” at all. Why do I say that? Here’s why. If you elect to decline breath testing and assert your Constitutional right (still a valid right, I think), the police can now seek a blood draw search warrant from an in-house judge to transport you to a medical facility and forcibly take your blood even if you object. That’s right. You are reading this blog correctly. The police can hold you down while a medical technician puts a needle into your arm and draw your blood against your will. This blood draw search warrant option is available even for a first time DWI offense even without an accident or injury. Just drive home after drinks with dinner or beers with friends and refuse to give a breath sample, and you can be on your way to a hospital for blood testing.

So what is required to get such a warrant? Not much. By driving on the roads in NC, drivers have already given their “implied consent” to testing by breath, blood, or urine. Consequently, the laws have been crafted to allow for forced testing if you initially refuse. What seems extremely odd is that the police cannot force you to submit to breath testing (non-invasive and painless) but can get a judge to sign a one page document allowing blood testing (invasive and painful). The police officer merely has to present a warrant request before a judge who will summarily sign it without any significant consideration of any circumstances. Your refusal is all that is required. Most folks who read this blog will not believe it or think there must be some mistake. But this fact is very real, and NC DWI lawyers are seeing more and more blood draw cases when clients refuse. Of course, most rational thinking individuals will say this law goes way too far in the quest to make roads safer from the perils of truly drunk drivers. But good luck trying to get any legislator to even consider a bill that “weakens” NC DWI laws. If such a legislator existed and were to attempt to make laws more reasonable, they would be spotlighted, their legislative career would be ruined. So for now, we will continue down the slippery slope of sacrificing critical civil liberties in exchange for the illusion of greater safety from over dramatized perceived harms.