As Oregon heads into the Holiday season, law enforcement turns it up a notch to enforce drunk driving laws. Only this Holiday season, both police agencies and prosecutors will be scrambling to implement new procedures on how to deal with DUII arrests in light of the landmark Oregon Court of Appeals Case State. v. Machuca (2009). The court in that case found that the police needed a search warrant if they wanted to use the results from a blood alcohol test. Because the police did not get a search warrant in that case, the prosecution was not allowed to use the results of the blood alcohol test in trial.
No doubt that both prosecutors and defense attorneys are intensely studying State v. Machuca to determine the current state of the law and how Machuca impacts the way police officers must now process DUII arrests. I have heard that some counties law enforcement agencies have implemented a policy to obtain a warrant for every DUII stop. Other law enforcement agencies are changing the way they try to get a suspected DUII driver to consent to the intoxilyzer exam. While other counties have yet to change their polices on how to process a DUII arrest. With the holiday season already in full swing, the big holiday question for the legal system is, are police officers being trained fast enough or are many DUII arrests going to be handled improperly this holiday season?