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High court OKs no warrant blood draws in drunken driver case

Law enforcement officers can generally draw blood without a warrant from an unconscious person suspected of driving under the influence.

The Supreme Court says law enforcement officers can generally draw blood without a warrant from an unconscious person suspected of driving drunk or while on drugs.

The high court issued its ruling Thursday in a case involving a Wisconsin law about impaired driving.

The question before the Supreme Court had to do with what happens when a motorist suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is unconscious, generally as a result of a crash. Wisconsin law said that in that case, blood can be drawn even without a warrant.

Lawyers for a driver who had blood drawn under those circumstances had argued Wisconsin's law violates the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures.

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