Topic: No exigent circumstances existed to justify a warrantless blood draw of DUI suspect.
The trial court granted Timothy Trahey’s motion to suppress the results of a blood test that revealed his blood alcohol concentration, finding no justification for the investigating officers’ failure to obtain a search warrant before conducting the test. On the Commonwealth’s appeal, the Superior Court reversed, opining that the Commonwealth’s evidence sufficiently established the existence of exigent circumstances, thus excusing the absence of a warrant. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed, finding that while the exigency analysis is an objective one, “even disregarding the officers’ subjective motivations, or their candid acknowledgment that they would have obtained a search warrant if they thought it necessary, there was no time-sensitive need to conduct a warrantless blood test under the circumstances of this case. Accordingly, the Superior Court’s conclusion that the test was justified by exigent circumstances was drawn in error.”
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