High court expresses doubts about drunken driving laws

Associated Press

Washington — The Supreme Court is expressing doubts about laws in at least a dozen states that make it a crime for people suspected of drunken driving to refuse to take alcohol tests.

The justices heard arguments Wednesday in cases challenging North Dakota and Minnesota laws that criminalize a refusal to test for alcohol in blood, breath or urine even if police have not obtained a search warrant.

Drivers prosecuted under those laws claim they violate the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.

Several justices wondered why states don’t simply require a warrant if it only takes just a few minutes.

Justices Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer seemed to be searching for a middle ground. They suggested breath tests may not need warrants because they are less invasive than blood tests.