U.S. Supreme Court Questions Warrantless Urine Tests


The United States Supreme Court today in Brooks v. Minnesota (Docket No. 12-478), reversed an Order of the Minnesota Court of Appeals and remanded for further determination based upon the Court’s decision in McNeely.

In Brooks, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that law enforcement did not need a search warrant prior to collecting the urine of a DWI suspect. The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the exigent circumstances exception to the search warrant requirement justified the warrantless search. However, just last week, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the exigent circumstances exception did not justify the warrantless collection of a DWI suspect’s blood.

The appellant in Brooks had initially sought review of the decision from the Minnesota Supreme Court, but that request was denied. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari, vacated the decision of the Minnesota Court of Appeals and remanded.

Based upon the U.S. Supreme Court’s language in McNeely, it is very likely that the warrantless collection of urine is also unconstitutional.