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Recent Supreme Court ruling could hinder DUI cases

Reported by: Amber Dixon
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Updated: 5/24/2013 5:01 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- Shauna Miller could one of several local defendants accused of DUI -- depending on a new U.S. Supreme court decision – that could be cleared.

Miller is accused of driving drunk and being high on Xanax in a March 23 car accident that killed James Joseph White, 33, of Las Vegas.

Sean Sullivan, Miller's attorney, says a blood draw revealed her blood alcohol content was 0.19, but he expects that evidence to be thrown out.

“You have to secure a search warrant before you draw somebody's blood,” Sullivan said.

His prediction follows the U.S. Supreme Court case of Missouri vs. McNeely.

In April, the Supreme Court decided if a suspected drunk driver refuses a blood draw, an officer must get a warrant to draw blood. If not, it's unconstitutional.

Miller's attorney says she refused, but Thursday, a judge decided not to throw out her blood draw.

The jude “relied on other cases before this saying that the officers acted in good faith, that they didn't believe they needed a warrant,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan says he'll appeal to district court and that ruling could likewise be appealed to the Supreme Court of Nevada.

The attorney describes the local court system as already flooded with motions citing the Supreme Court ruling.

“All of my colleagues have all been filing these motions,” Sullivan said. “It's going to inundate the court with these motions, and likewise, it's going to inundate the officers because now they have to take an added step to secure a search warrant when they refuse to take the test.”

The aftermath of Missouri vs. McNeely's is still unfolding.

Meanwhile, a 2-year-old child has no father.

The attorney for the White family said in a statement that they applaud the judge's decision Thursday not to throw out Miller's blood draw.

Officials with Metro police say they have been getting warrants to draw blood for quite some time, but attorneys who spoke to News 3 deny that.

They say in most of their DUI cases, blood was drawn without consent and without a warrant.
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