A case that was heard in Forsyth County last year was dismissed based on the fact that an officer forced a suspect to submit to a blood test following a DWI arrest. A suspect was arrested and performed field sobriety testing, but refused to submit to either a blood or breath test. Police officers took him to the hospital to have blood drawn. When the suspect refused to have his blood drawn, an officer held him down so that a nurse could draw the blood. After the case was dismissed it was appealed to Forsyth Superior Court.
The Superior Court held that the dismissal of the case was in error. The DA had already agreed that the results from the blood test would not be used as evidence in the trial. The Superior Court found that since the blood test was not going to be used in evidence the case should not be dismissed based on the actions of the officers in retrieving the blood sample. The court did not answer the question of whether the officers were constitutionally permitted to use this type of force in order to obtain blood sample without a search warrant. This may be due to the fact the Supreme Court is currently hearing a case that involves this question, for which the answer to may be released in a few months.
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