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Document Type

Comments

Abstract

Few of the government’s investigatory techniques implicate individual privacy concerns more than the taking and testing of a suspect’s blood. These blood draws are a common tool used to fight drunk driving. In 2013, in Missouri v. McNeely, the U.S. Supreme Court reiterated the need for case-by-case review when considering whether exigent circumstances justify warrantless blood testing of drunk driving suspects. An Oklahoma statute takes a different approach by categorically abdicating the warrant requirement and authorizing law enforcement to draw blood from any driver involved in an accident that results in serious bodily injury. In 2016, in Cripps v. State, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the constitutionality of this statute, concluding that this categorical exigency did not run afoul of either McNeely or the Fourth Amendment. This Comment discusses how the decision in Cripps represents a significant departure from established Fourth Amendment law that has always required a case-by-case approach to exigent circumstances. Accordingly, this Comment argues that when done without a warrant under the guise of an exigency, blood draws require a high degree of judicial scrutiny to ensure that law enforcement officials are not encroaching on fundamental civil liberties.

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