Nov 20, 2020 10:00 PM

Kan. upholds 2 DUI convictions using warrantless blood tests

Posted Nov 20, 2020 10:00 PM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday that results from warrantless blood tests were admissible in two cases of driving under the influence, even though the statute that had authorized them was later found to be unconstitutional.

In separate decisions, the state’s highest court said the “good faith exception” allows admission of unlawfully obtained evidence if the arresting officer had no reason to think the statute he had relied on would be declared unconstitutional after the arrest.

The court upheld the conviction for driving under the influence in the case of Ronald S. Ary, who was arrested following a 2014 crash in Kingman, Kansas. It also up upheld the conviction of Trenton Michael Heim following a 2015 vehicle accident.

No search warrant for the blood test was obtained in either case, and the same attorney which separately represented them presented identical arguments about whether the good-faith exception applies.

In each case, the court said that the officer was merely fulfilling his responsibility to enforce the statutes when he informed them that the state could charge them with a separate crime for refusing to submit to a blood test.