- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
- Date Filed: 12-23-2015
- Case #: A155733
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Garrett, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; DeVore, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Defendant sought reversal of a conviction for misdemeanor driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII), ORS 813.010. After receiving a tip that Defendant had driven away intoxicated, an officer responded and observed Defendant commit several traffic infractions. During the stop the officer observed signs of intoxication. Upon arrest, Defendant began hyperventilating and was transported to a hospital for treatment where, over Defendant’s objections, a blood sample was taken. At trial, Defendant moved to suppress the evidence obtained through the warrantless blood draw as unconstitutional under Article I, section 9, of the Oregon Constitution and the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, arguing that no exigent circumstances justified the officer’s failure to obtain a warrant. The court denied Defendant’s motion, holding exigent circumstances existed because the officer reasonably believed that even the time needed to complete the process of obtaining a telephonic search warrant probably would have led to a significant risk of loss of evidence. On appeal, Defendant argued exigent circumstances did not exist that excused the failure to obtain a warrant prior to the blood draw. The Court held that for purposes of Article I, section 9, of the Oregon Constitution, the officer’s objectively reasonable understanding at the time of the stop that probable cause existed, combined with the evidence of dissipation from the human body of alcohol at a rate of .015 percent per hour, exigent circumstances existed to permit the warrantless blood draw. For purposes of the U.S. Constitution, the warrantless, nonconsensual blood draw was reasonable because there was probable cause, it was based on exigent circumstances, and the procedures used to extract Defendant’s blood were reasonable. Affirmed.