According to The Free Thought Project, citizens of Kansas can no longer be forced to take a DUI test by cops.
Selections from the full report is below:
On Friday, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled the state’s DUI testing refusal law unconstitutional, setting a remarkable precedent concerning forced testing of those suspected of driving under the influence.
In a 6-1 ruling, the court decided the state’s law, which had made it a crime to refuse breathalyzer or blood alcohol tests without a court-ordered warrant, is excessive punishment. Those tests, the court found, amounted to searches, and the Kansas law “punishes people for exercising their constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures,” reported the Kansas City Star.
“In essence, the state’s reasons are not good enough, and its law not precise enough, to encroach on the fundamental liberty interest in avoiding an unreasonable search,” wrote Justice Marla Luckert for the majority, according to KCTV.
According to Kansas law, the act of operating a motor vehicle gives implied consent for breath, blood, or urine testing to prove one’s sobriety, but the Supreme Court ruled the state’s Constitution allows for the withdrawal of consent without punishment for doing so.
Previously, refusing a sobriety test qualified as a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of no less than $1,250.
“Once a suspect withdraws consent, whether it be express consent or implied (under the statute), a search based on that consent cannot proceed,” the court decided.
According to the court, the state’s “compelling interest” to combat impaired driving and prosecute cases of DUI does not trump people’s fundamental individual liberties as protected by the Constitution.
Justice Caleb Stegall wrote the lone dissenting opinion, saying there are certain situations where the law could adhere to constitutionality, and as such, it should be applied on a case by case basis.
…Friday, Norton enthused, was a “great day” for both the Kansas and U.S. Constitutions.