Kansas Judge Says Test in DUI Case Can Be Suppressed

October 18, 2013

A Douglas County judge has ruled that a blood test from a DUI case in Lawrence, Kan., will be suppressed, rejecting the state’s argument that the test was lawful.

Douglas County District Judge Kay Huff granted Julian M. Kuszmaul’s motion to suppress the results of a blood test, The Lawrence Journal-World reported.

Kuszmaul is awaiting trial on four misdemeanor charges after an accident in August 2012 that forced doctors to amputate the legs of Colby Liston, who was struck by the car Kuszmaul was driving. Liston was standing behind a parked car when he was hit, pinning him to the vehicle.

Kuszmaul refused to consent to a blood test but had his blood drawn at a hospital. The test results showed Kuszmaul’s blood-alcohol was 0.25, three times the legal limit of 0.08, at the time of the accident.

The state argued that the implied consent statute made the blood test lawful.

But Huff ruled that officers should have obtained a search warrant before Kuszmaul’s blood was drawn. Huff said the statute does not establish clearly defined authorization of warrantless blood draws in the event of accident or injury, and said meeting the statute requirements does not necessarily satisfy the Fourth Amendment.

Kuszmaul is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 22, when a trial date is expected to be set.

Topics Legislation Kansas

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