After having too much to drink, you were involved in an auto accident and taken to the emergency room. The nurse was very friendly while taking a sample of your blood. The hospital had your blood tested for alcohol which showed you were way over the legal limit. The police then got the results and charged you with DUI.
Did the police violate your constitutional rights by getting those results without a warrant?
The answer is no, as long as the nurse was not acting as an agent of the police.
A blood test is a search within the Fourth Amendment and thus requires police to obtain a search warrant before drawing your blood. The warrant requirement, however, does not apply to searches conducted by private individuals performed independently of the police. Often, a blood test is necessary before the hospital can treat you. If the test was not medically necessary and the police were leaning on the nurse to perform it, however, you may be able to prove that the search was illegal.
If you have been charged with DUI or a similar offense, contact an experienced attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. Were the police asking or badgering the hospital to perform a medically unnecessary test? If so, an attorney may be able to petition the court to suppress your test results.
If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reference: People v. Deroo
(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)