SCOTUS ruling forces change to DUI law

Published: Jan. 24, 2017 at 4:01 PM CST
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The North Dakota legislature changed DUI laws in 2013 to make it illegal to refuse a DUI test.

The State Attorneys' Association claims that law, along with other factors, have helped reduce alcohol related deaths on the road every year since then.

A recent Supreme Court case, Birchfield v. North Dakota, reaffirmed the state's ability to administer a breath test for DUI without a warrant. However it banned drawing blood without the person's consent or a warrant.

A bill before the legislature would require an arresting officer to get a warrant before drawing blood if the person is dead, unconscious or refuses.

"Nothing in Birchfield overruled what we did in 2013, everything is alright, except they put an additional hurdle in there for the blood test," says Aaron Birst, ND State Attorneys' Association.

The so-called DUI Cleanup Bill would also decriminalize refusing to take a pre-arrest screening, which is not admissible in court.

The Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers also support this bill.