A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court changes the law in New Jersey about the need for a search warrant to extract blood from a driver thought to be driving while drunk. The court held on April 17 in Missouri v. McNeely, 133 S. Ct. 1552, that the Fourth Amendment requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant to draw blood unless exigent circumstances prevent obtaining one before blood alcohol dissipates. Exigent circumstances is a well-established exception to the search warrant requirement, but the simple biological fact of the predictable metabolism of alcohol does not alone constitute such exigency, the court said.
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