SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Authorities don’t need a warrant to draw blood from parolees who don’t consent to a blood test, a California appeals court said Wednesday.
The 1st District Court of Appeal made the determination in a ruling over a DUI case in Solano County. Defendant Bobby Lynn Jones was under post-release community supervision when he got into a DUI crash in Fairfield.
Police had his blood drawn against his will and without a warrant and determined he had a blood alcohol content of 0.25 percent, according to the appeals court. The legal limit is 0.08. Jones pleaded no contest to a DUI-related charge and one count of resisting an officer in exchange for a five-year prison term.
But he objected to the use of the blood sample and filed an appeal.
The appeals court sided with the trial court in Wednesday’s decision, saying blood draws were included in the warrantless searches Jones was subject to under the terms of his supervision. Convicts on parole, probation or under supervised release can be subject to search without suspicion as long as the search is not arbitrary or intended to harass.
Jones’ attorney, Gordon Brownell, said he was reviewing the decision and had not yet decided whether he would appeal.
“Taking blood is different than reaching into someone’s pockets or cars,” he said. “What police did was outside the scope of what’s considered a reasonable search of an adult felon in the custody of the police.”
Jones also argued that the blood test should be invalidated based on a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision that said police usually should try to obtain a search warrant from a judge before ordering blood tests for drunken-driving suspects.
That decision came out seven months after Jones’ arrest, and the 1st District Court of Appeal said it did not apply retroactively to his case.