BOISE -- Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in Idaho are concerned after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that one of their practices is unconstitutional.
The ruling was over whether law enforcement can withdraw blood from someone suspected of a DUI without their consent and without a search warrant.
The court decided that violated a person's Fourth Amendment rights.
In Idaho, law enforcement agencies that draw blood without consent could, up until Wednesday's ruling, draw it under two different laws - implied consent and exigent circumstances.
This ruling complicates drawing blood in the future.
The Nampa Police Department is one of a handful of Idaho agencies that are considered a no refusal department, meaning if you decline a breathalyzer test, you're forced to have your blood drawn.
In order to curb that and keep our people safe when they travel on our roadways, we've adopted that policy, said Sgt. Matt Pavelek.
But the high court s ruling has them and other state agencies scrambling.
Today we're kind of looking at it. Obviously we're going to look at what we're going to do short term, we're going to look at what we do long term, said Pavelek.
In broad terms, the ruling says taking blood out of someone who is suspected of a DUI can't be done without a search warrant.
But that creates a problem for counties, especially small ones, because it takes time to get a warrant.
That's why the Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney's office is already working to figure this out.
It takes awhile to get a search warrant, and one of the things we're going to do is look at developing some procedures, which we work with agencies and judges and our prosecutors to see if we can expedite the process of getting a warrant, said Chief Criminal Deputy Chris Topmiller.
But there's something else at play in Idaho.
We are an implied consent state, meaning if you drive on the highways of the state, you have given consent to submit to either breath, blood or urine tests when suspected of DUI.
So, county prosecutors and law enforcement agencies have to figure out which way to lean.
It could even be a matter for the Idaho Supreme Court.
How our Supreme Court will shake out on this or what we'll actually be doing still remains to be seen. It's a big question mark at this point, said Dean Matlock, State Impaired Driving Coordinator for Idaho State Police.
In the meantime, police and prosecutors will move forward within the law and this new ruling.
We are very committed to prosecuting DUIs. We want to assure the public that we will continue to do that even if we have to do it without a blood draw, without a BAC at all, said Topmiller.
The agencies we spoke to are already trying to figure this out.
We can expect a plan of attack sometime in the next few weeks, but it could take longer. There's a lot to consider here.
The Supreme Court's ruling mainly deals with routine DUIs. In the case of aggravated DUI with injuries and vehicular manslaughter, officers can perform a blood draw without a warrant or permission.