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SD Supreme Court: New DUI Ruling Doesn't Impact Past Cases

July 24, 2014, 5:11 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

SD Supreme Court: New DUI Ruling Doesn't Impact Past Cases
Donovan Siers Courtesy: SD Dept. of Corrections


The U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring a warrant to draw blood during a DUI arrest will not impact old cases in South Dakota.

That was the decision handed down by the South Dakota Supreme Court on Thursday following an appeal from a drunk driver who was arrested back in 2008.

Donovan Siers, 49, appealed his drunk driving arrest this spring because officers took a blood sample from him during his arrest in 2008 without his consent. Siers argued that a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that urged officers to get a warrant to draw blood should be applied to past cases in South Dakota.

Previous Story: Can DUI Blood Draw Decision Impact Past Cases

In that 2013 case known as Missouri v. McNeely the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a split-decision that authorities need to get a warrant or the suspect's consent before taking a blood sample. Because the South Dakota Supreme Court considers that decision a 'new rule' the justices decided Thursday that it does not apply to past cases - including Siers’ case from 2008.

Read the Siers' Decision

Chief Justice David Gilbertson went on to reference other cases in his decision to deny the Siers’ appeal. One of those cases pointed out that there also has to be some finality when it comes to convictions in the court system.

"One of the law's very objects is the finality of its judgments. Without finality, the criminal law is deprived of much of its deterrent effect," Gilbertson wrote in citing a previous South Dakota Supreme Court case.

And now Donovan Siers knows that his DUI conviction will be final after the highest court in South Dakota upheld it.

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