State v. Flannigan

In State v. Flannigan, 194 Ariz. 150, 978 P.2d 127 (App. 1998), the defendant drove his truck through a red light and struck a car, causing the death of the driver and injuring the passengers. Id.2. Flannigan was suspected of being under the influence of a central nervous system stimulant because his physiological measures were elevated and he displayed nervous tendencies. Id.3-6. He was transported to the police station where a drug recognition expert performed various tests. Id.5. Because of a police department policy that regarded a manslaughter investigation as sufficient to constitute an exigency, a phlebotomist at the police station drew the defendant's blood without a search warrant or express consent. Id.6, 9, 16. The state relied on Schmerber v. California to argue exigent circumstances were present because the officer believed Flannigan was under the influence of drugs, and those drugs were dissipating in his blood. See id.9-11. In holding the state did not meet its burden of showing exigent circumstances, the court concluded that Schmerber required both the dissipation of alcohol in the defendant's system and a lack of time to seek out a warrant before the circumstances would be deemed exigent. Id.20, 25.