The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decisions today:
Case No. 111,698: State of Kansas v. David Lee Ryce, rehearing
Case No. 110,393: State of Kansas v. Darwin Estol Wycoff, rehearing
Case No. 112,009: State of Kansas v. Derick A. Wilson, rehearing
Case No. 111,401: State of Kansas v. Gregory Michael Nece, rehearing
In a 6-1 decision written by Justice Marla Luckert, the Kansas Supreme Court affirmed its previous rulings in State v. Ryce, State v. Wycoff, and State v. Wilson, that a Kansas statute, which criminalized a DUI suspect's refusal to submit to a warrantless blood-alcohol content test, was unconstitutional.
State v. Ryce originated in Sedgwick County District Court. State v. Wycoff and State v. Nece originated in Saline County District Court. State v. Wilson originated in Shawnee County District Court.
The State successfully sought rehearing on those Kansas Supreme Court rulings, which were originally made in February 2016, after the U.S. Supreme Court decided three similar cases from other states in Birchfield v. North Dakota. The U.S. Supreme Court had concluded that warrantless breath tests for DUI suspects were permissible under the Fourth Amendment as a search incident to lawful arrest, though warrantless blood tests were not.
In reconsidering its previous rulings, the Kansas Supreme Court explained that its ruling was based on interpretation of a state statute and was thus insulated from Birchfield. In addition, the North Dakota and Minnesota statutes discussed by the U.S. Supreme Court were distinguishable from Kansas's statute. For example, the Kansas statute required a DUI suspect to submit to a blood-alcohol content test even if he or she was not under arrest, and the Kansas statute was based on implied consent as opposed to some other exception to the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement.
Accordingly, the Kansas Supreme Court affirmed its previous rulings and held that the Kansas statute criminalizing refusal to submit to a warrantless blood-alcohol content test was unconstitutional. Justice Caleb Stegall dissented both from the original ruling and the ruling upon rehearing.
In a related case, State v. Nece, the Kansas Supreme Court again affirmed a district court's assessment that a DUI suspect's consent to a breath test was involuntary because it was obtained by means of an inaccurate and coercive advisement of the law. Justice Stegall concurred in the result.
Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released today State of Kansas
Office of Judicial Administration
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Topeka, Kansas 66612-1507