IA: Breath test of boater was valid as search incident under 4A but not state const.

“[T]he breath test [of a boater] constituted a search incident to arrest excepted from the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement under Birchfield.” State v. Pettijohn, 2017 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 78 (June 30, 2017):

We therefore decline the State’s invitation to conclude the search-incident-to-arrest exception applies to this category of cases across the board. Under article I, section 8, mere inconvenience resulting from the requirement that officers obtain warrants before conducting searches is inadequate to support the application of the search-incident-to-arrest exception to the warrant requirement. See id. at 15. Therefore, assuming the search-incident-to-arrest exception under article I, section 8 is at all concerned with the State’s interest in preventing the loss of evanescent evidence, that concern justifies its application only insofar as such loss would occur before a warrant could ordinarily be obtained. The mere fact an individual suspected of boating while intoxicated has been arrested does not reliably indicate this circumstance exists, therefore it does not reliably indicate the existence of a threat to the State’s interest in evidence preservation sufficient to justify application of the search-incident-to-arrest exception to the warrant requirement under article I, section 8.

This entry was posted in Drug or alcohol testing, Search incident, State constitution. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.