MISSOURI v. MCNEELY

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
11-1425
Petitioner 
Missouri
Respondent 
Tyler G. McNeely
Decided By 
Advocates
(for the petitioner)
(Assistant to the Solicitor General, Department of Justice, for the United States as amicus curiae, supporting the petitioner)
(for the respondent)
Term:
Facts of the Case 

On October 3, 2010, Missouri state police officer Mark Winder saw Tyler McNeely driving above the speed limit. When Winder followed McNeely to pull him over, he saw McNeely cross the centerline three times. Upon making contact with McNeely, Wilder observed that his eyes were red and glassy, and that his breath smelled like alcohol. McNeely performed poorly on four field sobriety tests and refused to submit to a portable breath test. Wilder arrested McNeely for driving while intoxicated and transported him to a hospital to obtain a blood sample. Wilder read McNeely the Missouri Implied Consent statement, and McNeely still refused to submit the sample. Wilder ordered the sample taken anyway, and the blood test revealed McNeely’s blood alcohol level was far above the legal limit.

The state charged McNeely with driving while intoxicated, and McNeely moved to suppress the evidence of the blood sample because it was obtained without a warrant. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion. The state appealed and argued that the risk of McNeely’s blood alcohol level decreasing over time represented an exigent circumstance requiring a blood draw. The Missouri Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred, but that the case represented a departure from current case law; it transferred the case to the Missouri Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of Missouri affirmed the trial court’s decision.

Question 

Does the Fourth Amendment prevent the taking of a warrantless blood sample under exigent circumstances?

Cite this Page
MISSOURI v. MCNEELY. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 November 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/2010-2019/2012/2012_11_1425>.
MISSOURI v. MCNEELY, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2010-2019/2012/2012_11_1425 (last visited November 25, 2014).
"MISSOURI v. MCNEELY," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed November 25, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2010-2019/2012/2012_11_1425.