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Supreme Court: Sobriety Tests Unconstitutional

Associated Press - February 26, 2016 12:03 pm

The Kansas Supreme Court says a man serving about 54 years in prison after being convicted in a 1999 rape and robbery case in Lawrence may be entitled to a few more days in court.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – The Kansas Supreme Court has struck down as unconstitutional a state law that punishes suspected drunken drivers who refuse to submit to a sobriety test.

The state’s high court, by a 6-1 vote Friday, declared the law that makes it a separate crime to refuse such a test a violation of the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

Friday’s ruling came a little more than two months since the U.S. Supreme Court announced it also will decide whether states can criminalize a driver’s refusal to take an alcohol test even if police have not obtained a search warrant.

Roughly a dozen states make it a crime to refuse to consent to warrantless alcohol testing.