Supreme Court Ruling and DUI Cases in PA

2016 Supreme Court Ruling on DUI Law

Arresting Officers Need Search Warrant for DUI Blood or Chemical Testing 

A 2016 ruling by the United States Supreme Court in Birchfield v. North Dakota changed Pennsylvania DUI law in a major way.

Prior to this decision, police officers investigating a DUI case were not required to obtain a search warrant to extract blood from an individual under suspicion of DUI for purposes of chemical testing.

The law now says a warrant is required to obtain blood from an individual.

If a warrant was not obtained in your DUI case, the possible penalties you face may have changed. Call the Ketchel Law today for a free consultation at 412.456.1221.

How does this ruling affect DUI cases in Pennsylvania?

  • If no warrant was obtained for a blood draw, an individual charged with a first offense DUI with a blood alcohol level (“BAC”) of .16 or higher may now receive NO JAIL time and NO LICENSE suspension as opposed to 72 hours in jail and a one year driver’s license suspension.
  • Prior to Birchfeild, a person facing a second offense DUI with a BAC of .16 or higher faced a mandatory 90 days—5 years imprisonment with a license suspension of 18 months. Now, assuming no warrant was obtained to collect the blood evidence, an individual faces only 5 days—6 months incarceration and a one year license suspension.
  • For a third offense DUI with a BAC of .16 or higher, an accused faces a mandatory state prison sentence of 1-5 years with a license suspension of 18 months followed by an Ignition Interlock for 1 year. If no warrant was obtained for the blood draw, an individual now faces only 10 days—2 years in jail and a license suspension of 12 months followed by an Ignition Interlock for 1 year.

Contact a Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer at Ketchel Law today at 412-456-1221 to find out whether this new law will affect your Pennsylvania DUI charges.



Call 412-456-1221 for a free consultation

If you have been charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania, contact Ketchel Law today.

Our number one goal is to have your charges dismissed and your record clean.

Learn more about DUI Laws in Pennsylvania



We offer free legal consultations to anyone charged with a crime in Western Pennsylvania. Call us at 412-456-1221 today to find out how we can help defend your rights.

Learn more about Ketchel Law: