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What this year's Supreme Court decision could mean for Nebraska DUI arrests

Nebraska is one of 12 states that make it a crime for someone pulled over for a DUI to refuse a breath or blood test. But a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June raised a significant challenge to state laws requiring blood test. And it's already changing how some DUI cases are handled in Nebraska.

In June, the Supreme Court ruled in Birchfield v. North Dakota that blood tests without a warrant are unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits "unreasonable searches and seizures." Under this ruling, law enforcement would need to get a warrant before testing - or "searching" - the blood of someone suspected of driving under the influence.

The effects of the ruling have already shown up in courts across the country, including in Nebraska. In late September, a Perkins County court determined that blood test results obtained without a warrant could not be used as evidence in a DUI case, reducing a felony charge to a misdemeanor.

The Perkins County Sheriff's Office doesn't plan to stop using blood tests in the future, according to KNOP News, although they'll now have to obtain a warrant first. Other law enforcement departments may decide to rely more heavily on breathalyzers instead.

The Nebraska Supreme Court also said it would review several DUI cases involving breath or blood tests, NET Nebraska reported in September.

In this changing area of the law, an experienced DUI defense attorney can ensure your rights are protected if you are charged with driving under the influence.

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