In July 2014 I wrote about the State v. Martines case which involved search warrants and blood tests. If you remember that court held the extraction of blood from a drunk driving suspect is a search. And testing the blood sample is a second search. Because a blood test involves a second search the State may not conduct tests on a lawfully procured blood sample without first obtaining a warrant that authorizes testing and specifies the types of evidence for which the sample may be tested.
So how are things unfolding in King County regarding this issue. From what I hear down in the trenches this particular issue is being received well by the Judges. Meaning the Judge’s that have heard this issue are suppressing the blood tests where the warrant didn’t contain language about “searching the blood test” in other words analyzing it for alcohol or drugs, etc.
Because of this and as I predicted many Prosecutor offices are choosing to have the blood retested under a new subpoena with the new and more detailed language. However due to the volume of this not only in King County but the State of Washington, many Prosecutors are picking and choosing which ones to do this on.
From what I hear if the DUI involves a prior offense then it will be done. Obviously any felony situation it will be done. In some cases if the case involved an accident then it will be requested. And lastly if there is no other evidence other than the blood test then most of those cases will be retested.
So what does that mean if you got arrested for a DUI in King County and your case involved one of these search warrant blood tests. Well if it was a run of the mill DUI where you simply refused the breath test and a warrant was done for a blood test than most likely your DUI will not have that blood test. Since the Prosecutors will most likely choose not to have it retested.
Now obviously every situation is different and certainly I’m in no position to predict what will happen on every one of these cases. So it is best to speak with an experienced DUI Attorney in Seattle to specifically discuss what may happen on a pending DUI involving a blood test. But I have spoken with several Prosecutors in several different Courts and they all seem to be saying the same thing to me. As this issue unfolds more and becomes more clear I will post an update in the future.
About the author: Matthew Leyba is a DUI Attorney in Seattle, WA. He has been named on of the best Seattle DUI Attorneys by both Avvo.com and the Seattle Met Magazine.