On June 23, 2016 in a case called Birchfield v. North Dakota the United States Supreme Court
clarified an issue for which a lot of states including California and the Court
itself had been grappling for some time.
The court held the
Fourth Amendment permits warrantless breath
tests incident to
lawful arrests for drunk driving, but
not warrantless blood tests.
The case involved three separate defendants who had been
arrested for drunk driving. Of note in the case was also the issue of implied
consent laws. Many states including California have implemented implied consent
laws to protect the public. Essentially, what they say is if you drive on the
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on this issue on January 9th, 2018. You can listen to the arguments by following the link below: