In most cases, the police cannot forcibly draw your blood or urine without a warrant. But what if it’s the doctor who’s forcing the tests as part of your treatment plan?
According to a recent Illinois appellate case, the state can use forcibly drawn tests, provided the hospital is not acting as an agent of the police. In People v Sykes, the defendant was knocked unconscious after driving her car into a wall. The hospital believed defendant was in an altered mental state, and that the doctor would need to know what drugs were in her system in order to provide treatment.
When the defendant refused to submit voluntarily to a urine test, the nurse asked for police help in restraining defendant so she could be catherized. The court held that the Fourth Amendment, which bars unreasonable searches and seizures, only applies to state action and not to private parties. Since the police had not asked the hospital to perform the tests, and the hospital would have forcbily catherized defendant anyway, the tests were not a result of state action. Thus, they could be used in evidence.
If you have been charged with DUI, contact an experienced law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. Perhaps the police lacked probable cause to stop you or perhaps any evidence against you was improperly seized. Even if the police acted properly and the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the court house may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.
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.
(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles,