Does a state “implied consent” law that authorizes a blood draw from an unconscious motorist violate the Fourth Amendment?
In May 2013, police officers in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, found Gerald Mitchell apparently intoxicated near Lake Michigan. Mitchell’s van was nearby. Officers administered a breath test on site, and then drove Mitchell to the station. Officers then drove Mitchell to the hospital for a blood draw. Although Mitchell was by that time unconscious, an officer read Mitchell a statement required by Wisconsin’s “informed-consent” law and ordered hospital personnel to administer a blood draw. Results showed a blood-alcohol content of .222. Based on this evidence, Mitchell was charged and convicted of driving while intoxicated.