IL: State’s delay in getting blood draw showed no exigency for dispensing with warrant

State’s own delays in attempting to get a blood draw showed lack of exigency for it. People v. Eubanks, 2019 IL 123525, 2019 Ill. LEXIS 1235 (Dec. 5, 2019):

[*P66] Given the facts, the State’s original concession that sufficient exigent circumstances were lacking is not surprising. No evidence was introduced that the police ever attempted to secure a warrant. This is to be expected, as the statute told them they did not need one. The police told defendant that the law required him to give the blood and urine samples, so they were clearly proceeding under the belief that a warrant was unnecessary.

[*P67] Moreover, the State’s conduct belies any assertion that they were facing an emergency in needing to get defendant’s blood and urine samples. Again, the reason that the police need to act quickly in these situations is that evidence is dissipating. Here, defendant was arrested a few minutes after 9 p.m. He was then taken to the police station, where he was not interviewed until 10:30. Officer Ventrella interviewed defendant and noticed that he smelled like alcohol. Ventrella explained that other officers were working on other aspects of the investigation. At midnight, Ventrella returned to the interview room and found defendant asleep. Ventrella woke him up and asked him to take a breath test. Defendant refused. He also refused to give blood and urine samples. Nearly three hours later, at 2:57 a.m., the officers finally took defendant to the hospital to give blood and urine samples. The blood sample was not collected until 4:10 a.m., and the urine sample was not taken until 5:20. Thus, a full seven hours passed between the time of defendant’s arrest and the time of his blood sample, and nearly 8.5 hours passed before he gave the urine sample.

[*P68] In McNeely, the Supreme Court stated that one of the relevant factors to consider in determining whether a warrantless search is reasonable is the practical problem of “obtaining a warrant within a timeframe that still preserves the opportunity to obtain reliable evidence.” McNeely, 569 U.S. at 164. Here, the police waited so long to get the blood and urine samples that defendant’s BAC was zero, even though he admitted to drinking Hennessy and he smelled of alcohol when Ventrella interviewed him at 10:30 p.m. It simply defies belief that the police could not have attempted to gain a warrant without significantly delaying the time of the testing. …

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