Drivers face all kinds of threats to their privacy, and one area sure to garner increasing scrutiny is the collection of DNA samples during traffic stops.
A recent example in the case of Troy Thomas, a suspect in a string of burglaries, who was stopped under the guise of a DUI check. He submitted to a breathalyzer test, which he passed. He was free to go. However, a sample of his DNA from the mouthpiece was submitted for testing, without his knowledge.
He was arrested for burglary. At trial, Thomas moved to have the DNA evidence suppressed because it was seized and tested without a search warrant. The court denied the motion saying he did not have an expectation of privacy since he “abandoned” the evidence. It ruled that the sample was “voluntarily” given and subsequent testing was not a search within the meaning of the fourth Amendment.
So drivers beware!