Nevada Supreme Court strikes down part of state’s implied consent law

Last Thursday, the Nevada Supreme Court issued an opinion invalidating Nevada’s implied consent law that permitted police officers to take blood samples of drivers who were believed to be impaired by drugs or alcohol without a warrant and without consent. The court ruled that the Nevada law was unconstitutional because it “permits officers to conduct a search without a warrant, valid consent, or another exception to the warrant requirement.”

Additionally, the Nevada Supreme Court also wrote that, “[i]n light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Missouri v. McNeely, we conclude that the natural dissipation of marijuana in the blood stream does not constitute a per se exigent circumstance justifying a warrantless search.”

Under Oregon’s implied consent law, blood tests are only permitted if the person receiving the test is under arrest for DUII and is receiving medical care in a health care facility immediately after a motor vehicle accident. However, based on the ruling in McNeely, in the far more common DUII case where a suspect refuses a breath test, Oregon police now need to apply for a warrant in order to obtain that person’s blood for use in a prosecution for DUII.