Since July 1, police officers have been able to get a judicial warrant requiring motorists pulled over for suspected alcohol or drug use to take a breath, blood or urine test. Prosecutors say the change has helped them win cases against drunk drivers, especially repeat offenders who know how to beat the system.
Civil liberties advocates have worried about officers restraining uncooperative suspects by force to take a blood-alcohol test, and some judges question the constitutionality of requesting a warrant by phone.
Police and prosecutors say it’s still too early to pass final judgment on the new law.
But in the past few months, police officials in many counties say that as more people learn about the law, most suspects now yield to testing without force. Judges, too, say they’re becoming more comfortable with the legality of the law, even if they may still be annoyed by late-night phone calls from an officer seeking a warrant.