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State v. Pettijohn

Supreme Court of Iowa

June 30, 2017

STATE OF IOWA, Appellee,
v.
DALE DEAN PETTIJOHN JR., Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Terry Wilson, Odell McGhee, and William Price, Judges.

         A defendant challenges his conviction for operating while intoxicated under Iowa Code section 462A.14(1) (2013). DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT REVERSED AND CASE REMANDED.

          Grant C. Gangestad of Gourley, Rehkemper & Lindholm, P.L.C., West Des Moines, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Heather R. Quick (until withdrawal), Kevin Cmelik and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant Attorneys General, John P. Sarcone, County Attorney, and Jordan Roling, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

          WIGGINS, Justice.

         The defendant moved to suppress all evidence obtained after an officer seized the boat he was operating, including the results of a breath test he submitted to after an officer invoked the implied-consent procedure set forth in Iowa Code chapter 462A (2013). The district court denied the motion to suppress, concluding the seizure was justified by the community-caretaking exception to the warrant requirement and the administration of the warrantless breath test violated neither the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution nor article I, section 8 of the Iowa Constitution. The court convicted the defendant following a bench trial on the minutes, and the defendant appealed. We retained the appeal but held the matter in abeyance pending a decision from the United States Supreme Court.

         We conclude the seizure of the boat the defendant was operating violated neither the Fourth Amendment nor article I, section 8 because the officer who stopped the defendant had a reasonable, articulable suspicion he was committing a crime. However, because we also conclude the administration of the warrantless breath test violated article I, section 8, we reverse the judgment of the district court and remand the case for a new trial.

         I. Background Facts.

         On August 18, 2013, at approximately 5:00 p.m., Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Water Patrol Officer William Wineland observed Dale Dean Pettijohn Jr. operating a rented pontoon boat in the no-wake zone of Saylorville Lake in Polk County, a manmade reservoir created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and fed by the Des Moines River. At the time, Pettijohn was operating the boat at an appropriate speed and was not swerving or steering erratically. However, Officer Wineland noticed a female passenger sitting on a sundeck located at the rear of the boat with her feet dangling over its back edge near the motor.

         Because he had worked as a water patrol officer for many years, Officer Wineland was familiar with the location of the propellers on the rental boats at Saylorville Lake. He knew there was no guard or housing around the propeller on the rented pontoon boat Pettijohn was operating. Having previously witnessed severe injuries and even deaths resulting from people falling off boats and getting entangled in the propeller, Officer Wineland believed the position of the female passenger on Pettijohn's boat posed a danger to her safety.

         As a water patrol officer for the DNR, Officer Wineland had authority to investigate and enforce violations of the law amounting to simple misdemeanors, but not serious misdemeanors. Officer Wineland suspected Pettijohn was committing a simple misdemeanor by operating the pontoon boat in violation of section 462A.12(1) of the Iowa Code, which provides, "No person shall operate any vessel . . . in a careless, reckless or negligent manner so as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person." Iowa Code § 462A.12(1); id. § 462A.13 (stating offenses defined in chapter 462A of the Code constitute simple misdemeanors unless otherwise specifically provided).

         Officer Wineland decided to stop Pettijohn to inform him that permitting the passenger to sit so close to the unguarded propeller while the boat was in motion posed a danger to her safety. Pettijohn complied with Officer Wineland's request to stop the boat.

         While speaking with Pettijohn, Officer Wineland observed that he had bloodshot eyes. He also noticed there were two coolers on the boat. During their conversation, it appeared to Officer Wineland that Pettijohn was nervous and avoided making eye contact with him. These observations led Officer Wineland to suspect Pettijohn had been operating the boat while intoxicated in violation of Iowa Code section 462A.14(1), a serious misdemeanor he was without authority to investigate. See id. § 462A.14(2). Consequently, Officer Wineland sought assistance from conservation officers authorized to investigate serious misdemeanor offenses. In the meantime, Officer Wineland instructed Pettijohn to proceed to the dock to await the arrival of the conservation officers and issued him a warning citation for the negligent operation of the boat. When Officer Wineland explained the reason for the citation, Pettijohn indicated he had not realized a passenger was sitting on the bow of the boat and would not have allowed her to remain there had he known of her location.

         Conservation Officers Dakota Drish and Matt Bruner soon arrived. Once aboard Pettijohn's boat, Officer Drish detected the distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage and observed that Pettijohn was slurring his speech and had bloodshot eyes. Based on these observations Officer Drish administered field sobriety tests, the results of which led him to conclude that Pettijohn had been operating the boat while intoxicated. Officer Drish placed Pettijohn in handcuffs, and the officers transported him to the Polk City Police Department.

         At the station, Officer Drish read to Pettijohn from a standard form entitled "Implied Consent Advisory" in order to inform him of the consequences of failing a breath test or refusing to consent to a breath test. Pettijohn signed his name in a box labeled "confirmation signature" on the bottom of the form. Minutes later, Officer Drish formally requested a sample of his breath. Pettijohn checked a box on a separate form entitled "Notice and Request Under Iowa Code Section 462A.14, " indicating he consented to provide a breath sample upon being requested to do so after having been read the implied-consent advisory. Pettijohn then submitted to a breath test, which indicated his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .194.

         The State charged Pettijohn with operating a motorboat while under the influence in violation of Iowa Code section 462A.14(1). Because this was Pettijohn's first offense, the violation constituted a serious misdemeanor criminal offense. See id. § 462A.14(2).

         II. Prior Proceedings.

         Before the district court, Pettijohn moved to suppress all evidence obtained after Officer Wineland stopped his boat, arguing the stop violated his rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and article I, section 8 of the Iowa Constitution. Pettijohn also moved to suppress the results of the breath test, arguing the implied-consent procedure he was subjected to violated the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and article I, section 8 of the Iowa Constitution because (1) it authorizes the imposition of a penalty for the exercise of a constitutional right to refuse a warrantless search, and (2) a person cannot contract away his or her natural right to use the state's navigable waterways. Additionally, Pettijohn argued the breath-test results should be suppressed because the implied-consent advisory was inaccurate and thus (1) violated his substantive due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and article I, section 9 of the Iowa Constitution; (2) violated his statutory rights under the Iowa Code; and (3) rendered his consent involuntary and coerced in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and article I, section 8 of the Iowa Constitution.

         The district court denied Pettijohn's motion to suppress. First, the court concluded the stop of Pettijohn's boat was authorized under the Fourth Amendment and article I, section 8 because it was justified by the community-caretaking exception to the warrant requirement. Second, the court concluded the administration of a warrantless breath test pursuant to the implied-consent procedure authorized by the Iowa Code violates neither the Fourth Amendment nor article I, section 8. Third, the court concluded any inaccuracies in the implied-consent advisory read to Pettijohn did not induce or coerce his consent in violation of his federal or state substantive due process rights.

         Pettijohn waived his right to a jury trial, and the district court convicted him following a bench trial on the minutes. Pettijohn subsequently appealed, and we retained the appeal.

         Following oral argument, we held the appeal in abeyance pending a decision from the United States Supreme Court on the issue of whether the Fourth Amendment prohibits implied-consent laws imposing penalties on motorists suspected of drunk driving for their refusal to submit to BAC testing. See Birchfield v. North Dakota, 579 U.S., 136 S.Ct. 2160 (2016). After applying a balancing test weighing the degree to which blood tests and breath tests intrude upon individual privacy interests and the degree to which such tests are needed to promote the legitimate government interest in the safety of public highways, the Court held the Fourth Amendment permits the administration of warrantless breath tests, but not the administration of warrantless blood tests, as searches incident to lawful arrests for drunk driving. Id. at___, ___, 136 S.Ct. at 2176-79, 2185. Accordingly, the Court determined state statutes criminalizing the refusal of a motorist arrested on suspicion of drunk driving to submit to a blood test violate the Fourth Amendment. Id. at___, 136 S.Ct. at 2185-86.

         Following the issuance of the Birchfield decision, the parties submitted additional briefs to this court addressing its implications for our resolution of this appeal. Pettijohn argues Birchfield does not resolve the question of whether a warrantless breath test may be administered to an individual arrested on suspicion of boating while intoxicated under the Fourth Amendment, as the State's need to ensure the safety of the public waterways is far less compelling than its need to ensure the safety of public highways. He further argues the administration of the warrantless breath test following his arrest on suspicion of boating while intoxicated violated article I, section 8 of the Iowa Constitution because no valid exception to the warrant requirement authorized the warrantless search.

         In contrast, the State argues that because implied-consent laws serve the same purpose in the boating context as they serve in the driving context, the Fourth Amendment permits the warrantless administration of a breath test as a search incident to a lawful arrest on suspicion of operating while intoxicated in both contexts. Furthermore, the State argues that even if a warrantless breath test does not constitute a search incident to a lawful arrest in the boating context, because Pettijohn faced only the possibility of civil penalties and evidentiary consequences for refusal to submit, the procedure invoked prior to the administration of the breath test did not violate the Fourth Amendment. Finally, the State argues article I, section 8 permits the administration of a warrantless breath test as a search incident to the lawful arrest of an individual suspected of boating while intoxicated because the interests justifying such a search relate primarily to evidence preservation.

         III. Issues on Appeal.

         We first consider whether the seizure of the boat Pettijohn was operating violated the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution or article I, section 8 of the Iowa Constitution. We next consider whether administering a warrantless breath test on an individual arrested on suspicion of boating while intoxicated violates the Fourth Amendment or article I, section 8. Finally, we consider whether Pettijohn effectively consented to the warrantless breath test. Because we conclude he did not, admission of the breath test results violated article I, section 8. Therefore, we do not reach Pettijohn's due process and statutory claims.

         IV. Standard of Review.

         "We review constitutional claims de novo." Hensler v. City of Davenport, 790 N.W.2d 569, 578 (Iowa 2010). To the extent a constitutional claim raises issues of statutory interpretation, however, our review is for correction of errors at law. State v. Allen, 708 N.W.2d 361, 365 (Iowa 2006).

         V. The Statutory Provisions.

         Chapter 462A of the Iowa Code contains the boating-while-intoxicated statutes. Section 462A.14B defines the penalties that apply when a person refuses to submit to a chemical test "for the purpose of determining the alcohol concentration or presence of controlled substances or other drugs." Iowa Code § 462A.14A(1). It provides,

1. If a person refuses to submit to the chemical testing, a test shall not be given unless the procedure in section 462A.14D is invoked. However, if the person refuses the test, the person shall be punishable by the court according to this section.
2. The court, upon finding that the officer had reasonable ground to believe the person to have been operating a motorboat or sailboat in violation of section 462A.14, that specified conditions existed for chemical testing pursuant to section 462A.14A, and that the person refused to submit to the chemical testing, shall:
a. Order that the person shall not operate a motorboat or sailboat for one year.
b. Impose a mandatory civil penalty as follows:
(1) For a first refusal under this section, five hundred dollars.
(2) For a second refusal under this section, one thousand dollars.
(3) For a third or subsequent refusal under this section, two thousand dollars.
3. If the person does not pay the civil penalty by the time the one-year order not to operate expires, the court shall extend the order not to operate a motorboat or sailboat for an additional year, and may also impose penalties for contempt.

Id. § 462A.14B(1)-(3). In addition to these penalties, "proof of refusal is admissible in any civil or criminal action or proceeding arising out of acts alleged to have been committed while the person was operating a motorboat or sailboat in violation of section 462A.14." Id. § 462A.14A(8).

         The Code also addresses the advisory an officer must administer when requesting an individual suspected of boating while intoxicated to submit to a chemical test. Id. §§ 462A.14A(4)(g), .14C(1). Specifically, section 462A.14A(4)(g) provides, g. A person who has been requested to submit to a chemical test shall be advised by a peace officer of the following:

(1) A refusal to submit to the test is punishable by a mandatory civil penalty of five hundred to two thousand dollars, and suspension of motorboat or sailboat operating privileges for at least a year. In addition, if the person is also convicted of operating a motorboat or sailboat while intoxicated, the person shall be subject to additional penalties.
(2) If the person submits to the test and the results indicate an alcohol concentration equal to or in excess of the level prohibited under section 462A.14 and the person is convicted, the person's motorboat or sailboat operating privileges will be suspended for at least one year and up to six years, depending upon how many previous convictions the person has under this chapter, and whether or not the person has caused serious injury or death, in addition to any sentence and fine imposed for a violation of section 462A.14.

Id. § 462A.14A(4)(g)(1)-(2). Similarly, section 462A.14C provides, 1. A person who has been requested to submit to a chemical test shall be advised by a peace officer of the following:

a. A refusal to submit to the test is punishable by a mandatory civil penalty of five hundred to two thousand dollars, and suspension of motorboat or sailboat operating privileges for at least a year. In addition, if the person is also convicted of operating a motorboat or sailboat while intoxicated, the person shall be subject to additional penalties.
b. If the person submits to the test and the results indicate the presence of a controlled substance or other drug, or an alcohol concentration equal to or in excess of the level prohibited by section 462A.14, the person's privilege to operate a motorboat or sailboat will be prohibited for at least one year, and up to six years.

Id. § 462A.14C(1)(a)-(b).[1]

          VI. The Implied-Consent Advisory.

         The following text appeared on the form Pettijohn signed containing the implied-consent advisory Officer Drish read to him:

Implied Consent Advisory:
(If any peace officer fails to offer a test within two hours the preliminary screening test is administered or refused, or the arrest is made, whichever occurs first, a test is not required, and there shall be no suspension of motorboat or sail boat operation privileges.)
Notice to Any Peace Officer
A person who has been requested to submit to a chemical test shall be advised by a peace officer of the following:
(1) A refusal to submit to the test is punishable by a mandatory civil penalty of five hundred to two thousand dollars, and suspension of motorboat or sailboat operating privileges for at least a year. In addition, if the person is also convicted of operating a motorboat or sailboat while intoxicated, the person shall be subject to additional penalties.[2]
(2) If the person submits to the test and the results indicate the presence of a controlled substance or other drug, or an alcohol concentration equal to or in excess of the level prohibited under section 462A.14 (.08 BAC) and the person is convicted, the person's motorboat or sailboat operating privileges will be suspended for at least one year and up to six years, depending upon how many previous convictions the person has under this chapter, and whether or not the person has caused serious injury or death, in addition to any sentence and fine imposed for a violation of section 462A.14[.][3]

         VII. The Constitutional Provisions.

         Article I, section 8 of the Iowa Constitution guarantees,

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable seizures and searches shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but on probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons and things to be seized.

         Iowa Const. art. I, § 8. The federal counterpart to article I, section 8 is the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which was made applicable to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 654-55, 81 S.Ct. 1684, 1691 (1961). The Fourth Amendment provides,

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

U.S. Const. amend. IV. Though the rights set forth in these provisions apply to all, questions concerning their scope ordinarily arise in circumstances in which individuals are suspected of engaging in criminal behavior. State v. King, 867 N.W.2d 106, 110-11 (Iowa 2015).

         Warrantless searches and seizures are per se unreasonable unless one of several carefully drawn exceptions to the warrant requirement applies. State v. Lewis, 675 N.W.2d 516, 522 (Iowa 2004); State v. Kinkead, 570 N.W.2d 97, 100 (Iowa 1997). To establish the constitutionality of a warrantless search or seizure, the State must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a recognized exception to the warrant requirement applies. State v. Simmons, 714 N.W.2d 264, 272 (Iowa 2006).

         VIII. The Constitutionality of the Seizure.

         The district court apparently concluded the seizure of the boat Pettijohn was operating constituted a valid exercise of the community- caretaking exception to the warrant requirement. Assessing whether the community-caretaking exception to the warrant requirement justified a seizure requires a court to determine (1) whether the officer who effected the seizure was engaged in a bona fide community-caretaking activity and (2) whether the public need and interest outweighed the intrusion upon the privacy of the citizen subject to a seizure. State v. Kern, 831 N.W.2d 149, 173 (Iowa 2013). Community-caretaking activities are "totally divorced from the detection, investigation, or acquisition of evidence relating to the violation of a criminal statute." Id. at 172 (quoting Cady v. Dombrowski, 413 U.S. 433, 441, 93 S.Ct. 2523, 2528 (1973)).

         We need not reach the question of whether the community-caretaking exception to the warrant requirement authorized the seizure at issue in this case, however. Rather, we affirm the district court ruling that the seizure was constitutional based on an alternate ground urged by the State below and fully briefed and argued by the parties on appeal. See, e.g., In re Estate of Voss, 553 N.W.2d 878, 879 n.1 (Iowa 1996); Johnston Equip. Corp. v. Indus. Indem., 489 N.W.2d 13, 17 (Iowa 1992); see also Chauffeurs, Teamsters & Helpers, Local Union No. 238 v. Iowa Civil Rights Comm'n, 394 N.W.2d 375, 378 (Iowa 1986). Specifically, we conclude the warrantless seizure of the boat Pettijohn was operating was constitutionally authorized because Officer Wineland reasonably suspected that Pettijohn was violating Iowa Code section 462A.12(1).

         One established exception to the warrant requirement permits an officer with "a reasonable, articulable suspicion that a criminal act has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur" to stop an individual for investigatory purposes. State v. Vance, 790 N.W.2d 775, 780 (Iowa 2010). To prove an investigatory stop complies with the requirements of this exception, however, the State must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the officer reasonably believed criminal activity was afoot based on "specific and articulable facts . . . taken together with rational inferences from those facts." Id. at 781. We determine whether reasonable suspicion existed in light of the totality of the circumstances confronting the officer, "including all information available to the officer at the time the decision to stop is made." Id. (quoting State v. Kreps, 650 N.W.2d 636, 642 (Iowa 2002)).

         Here, Officer Wineland believed Pettijohn was engaged in an ongoing misdemeanor because he was endangering the safety of a passenger on the boat he was operating in violation of the Iowa Code. The Code provides, "No person shall operate any vessel, or manipulate any water skis, surfboard or similar device in a careless, reckless or negligent manner so as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person." Iowa Code § 462A.12(1). Pettijohn argues a person must endanger life, limb, or property by driving a boat in a careless, reckless, or negligent manner to violate this statute. We disagree.

         When we interpret a statute, our goal is to determine legislative intent. Auen v. Alcoholic Beverages Div., 679 N.W.2d 586, 590 (Iowa 2004). To determine legislative intent, we look at the words the legislature chose when it enacted the statute, not the words it might have chosen. Ramirez-Trujillo v. Quality Egg, L.L.C., 878 N.W.2d 759, 770 (Iowa 2016). When the legislature chooses to "act as its own lexicographer" by defining a statutory term, we are ordinarily bound by its definition. Sherwin-Williams Co. v. Iowa Dep't of Revenue, 789 N.W.2d 417, 425 (Iowa 2010) (quoting State v. Fischer, 785 N.W.2d 697');">785 N.W.2d 697, 702 (Iowa 2010)). When the legislature fails to define a statutory term, we examine the context in which the term appears and accord the term its ordinary and common meaning. Ramirez-Trujillo, 878 N.W.2d at 770. Interpreting a statute requires us to assess it in its entirety to ensure our interpretation is harmonious with the statute as a whole rather than assessing isolated words or phrases. Id.

         For purposes of section 462A.12(1), the legislature has defined the word "operate" to mean "to navigate or otherwise use a vessel or motorboat." Iowa Code § 462A.2(24). The common meaning of "navigate" is to "direct one's course through any medium." Navigate, Webster's Third New International Dictionary (unabr. ed. 2002). Were this the only legislative definition of the word "operate" appearing in chapter 462A, it would arguably support interpreting the statute narrowly as Pettijohn suggests.

         However, according to the definition of the term "operate" the legislature adopted, a person operates a boat when they navigate it "or otherwise use" it. Iowa Code § 462A.2(24). The common meaning of the word "otherwise" is "in a different way or manner." Otherwise, Webster's Third New International Dictionary. The common meaning of the word "use" is "to put into action or service." Use, Webster's Third New International Dictionary. Because the legislature incorporated the phrase "otherwise use" in the statutory definition of the word "operate, " we conclude the legislature intended the prohibition in section 462A.12(1) to apply any time a person uses a boat "in a careless, reckless or negligent manner so as to endanger . . . life, limb or property, " even if the person is navigating the boat safely. To illustrate, navigating a boat while it was carrying weight in excess of its maximum weight capacity would clearly constitute a violation of section 462A.12(1).

         Here, Pettijohn was operating the pontoon boat with a passenger in close proximity to an unguarded propeller. If Pettijohn had made a sudden maneuver, his passenger could have slipped off the boat and into the propeller. Under these circumstances, Officer Wineland had a reasonable, articulable suspicion that Pettijohn was engaged in the crime defined in section 462A.12(1). Therefore, we conclude the seizure of the boat violated neither the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution nor article I, section 8 of the Iowa Constitution.

         IX. The Constitutionality of the Search Under the United States Constitution.

         We begin our analysis concerning the constitutionality of the breath test by examining the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court addressing the constitutionality of implied-consent searches. In Birchfield, the Court considered "whether motorists lawfully arrested for drunk driving may be convicted of a crime or otherwise penalized for refusing to take a warrantless test measuring the alcohol in their bloodstream" consistent with the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. 579 U.S. at___, 136 S.Ct. at 2172. The three petitioners whose consolidated cases the Court addressed each advanced the argument "that the criminal law ordinarily may not compel a motorist to submit to the taking of a blood sample or to a breath test unless a warrant authorizing such testing is issued by a magistrate." Id. The Court noted that when

such warrantless searches comport with the Fourth Amendment, it follows that a State may criminalize the refusal to comply with a demand to submit to the required testing, just as a State may make it a crime for a person to obstruct the execution of a valid search warrant.

Id. As a result, the Court set out to determine whether the administration of warrantless blood and breath tests is justified by an exception to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement when an individual has been lawfully arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. Id. at___, 136 S.Ct. at 2173-74.

         The Court first noted the exigent-circumstances exception to the warrant requirement, which "allows a warrantless search when an emergency leaves police insufficient time to seek a warrant, " does not categorically permit warrantless BAC testing in drunk-driving investigations. Id. at___, 136 S.Ct. at 2173-74. Rather, the question of whether the natural dissipation of alcohol from the bloodstream constitutes an exigency justifying a warrantless BAC test must be determined by careful case-by-case assessment of "all of the facts and circumstances of the particular case." Id. at___, 136 S.Ct. at 2174 (quoting Missouri v. McNeely, 569 U.S.___, ___, 133 S.Ct. 1552, 1560 (2013) (plurality opinion)). The Court emphasized the exigent-circumstances exception to the warrant requirement, unlike other exceptions to the warrant requirement, must be applied in a case-specific fashion, not categorically. Id.

         The Court next considered whether the search-incident-to-arrest doctrine applies to breath and blood tests incident to drunk-driving arrests. Id. After acknowledging its prior decisions applying this doctrine have not been "easy to reconcile" and describing its scope during colonial times, the Court ultimately determined the question of whether the doctrine applies "does not depend on whether a search of a particular arrestee is likely to protect officer safety or evidence." Id. at___, 136 S.Ct. at 2175-76. However, when the doctrine applies, the Court noted, the very "fact of the lawful arrest" permits "a full search of the person." Id. at___, 136 S.Ct. at 2176 (quoting United States v. Robinson, 414 U.S. 218, 235, 94 S.Ct. 467, 477 (1973)).

          The Court next described the appropriate test for determining whether the doctrine "should be applied in situations that could not have been envisioned when the Fourth Amendment was adopted." Id. "Absent more precise guidance from the founding era, " the Court concluded such determinations should ordinarily be made "by assessing, on the one hand, the degree to which it intrudes upon an individual's privacy and, on the other, the degree to which it is needed for the promotion of legitimate governmental interests." Id. (quoting Riley v. California, 573 U.S.___, ___, 134 S.Ct. 2473, 2484 (2014)).

         Lacking "any definitive guidance" from the founding era as to whether blood and breath tests to measure BAC should be permitted incident to arrest, the Court then undertook to apply this test. Id. With respect to the degree to which BAC testing intrudes upon individual privacy interests, the Court distinguished between blood and breath tests, concluding blood tests implicate more significant privacy concerns than breath tests. Id. at___, 136 S.Ct. at 2176-78.

         As for the question of whether BAC testing on persons arrested for drunk driving promotes a legitimate governmental interest, the Court determined states have compelling interests in both "neutralizing the threat posed" by drunk drivers behind the wheel and deterring drunk driving effectively. Id. at___, 136 S.Ct. at 2178-79. Accordingly, the Court found implied-consent laws that induce motorists suspected of drunk driving to submit to BAC testing "serve a very important function" even after those motorists have been arrested and removed from the road. Id. at___, 136 S.Ct. at 2179. In doing so, the Court described alcohol consumption as "a leading cause of traffic fatalities and injuries" and emphasized statistics prepared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicating the number of fatalities in accidents attributed to drunk driving in recent years "ranged from 13, 582 deaths in 2005 to 9, 865 deaths in 2011." Id. at, 136 S.Ct. at 2178.

         In assessing the degree to which implied-consent laws imposing penalties for refusal to submit to BAC testing are necessary to promote the legitimate governmental interests related to assuring roadway safety, the Court rejected the relevance of determining whether "the burden of obtaining a warrant is likely to frustrate the governmental purpose behind the search" in the particular case. Id. at, 136 S.Ct. at 2179. Rather, the Court concluded the applicability of the search-incident-to-arrest exception "has never turned on case-specific variables such as how quickly the officer will be able to obtain a warrant in the particular circumstances he faces." Id. at, 136 S.Ct. at 2180. The Court dismissed "alternatives to warrantless BAC tests incident to arrest" as "poor substitutes" for implied-consent laws because many other strategies available to combat drunk driving are "significantly more costly, " "target[ed to] only a segment of the drunk-driver population, " "already in widespread use, " or less effective than more severe penalties for refusal. Id. at___, 136 S.Ct. at 2182.

         Finally, because the Court determined requiring warrants for BAC testing would impose a burden on the states, it concluded the petitioners needed to support their claims by demonstrating "some special need for warrants for BAC testing." Id. at___, 136 S.Ct. at 2181. In assessing whether the petitioners had met that standard, the Court described the benefits requiring warrants would provide as follows:

Search warrants protect privacy in two main ways. First, they ensure that a search is not carried out unless a neutral magistrate makes an independent determination that there is probable cause to believe that evidence will be found. Second, if the magistrate finds probable cause, the warrant limits the intrusion on privacy by specifying the scope of the search-that is, the area that can be searched and the items that can be sought.

Id. at___, 136 S.Ct. at 2181 (citation omitted). The Court then concluded the petitioners had not demonstrated a special need for warrants before BAC testing is conducted. Id. at, 136 S.Ct. at 2181- 82. More precisely, the Court determined "requiring the police to obtain a warrant in every case would impose a substantial burden but no commensurate benefit" because the facts officers would need to recite to establish probable cause for a warrant would "consist largely of the officer's own characterization of his or her observations" and the scope of search permitted by the warrant would be the same in every case. Id.

         Balancing these considerations, the Court held the Fourth Amendment permits the administration of a warrantless breath test, but not a blood test, to determine the BAC of an individual lawfully arrested on suspicion of drunk driving as a search incident to arrest. Id. at, 136 S.Ct. at 2184-85. However, the Court cautioned a warrantless blood test may be justified under another exception to the warrant requirement, stating,

Nothing prevents the police from seeking a warrant for a blood test when there is sufficient time to do so in the particular circumstances or from relying on the exigent circumstances exception ...

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