Federal courthouse in Sioux Falls.(Photo: Joe Sneve, Argus Leader)Buy Photo
South Dakota’s Supreme Court ruled this week that police need a search warrant to get a urine sample from an arrestee, at the same time ruling in favor of a man charged with ingestion after a 2015 search warrantless urine test.
The state’s highest court decided privacy issues outweigh the state’s interest in pursuing evidence, according to a ruling filed Thursday.
A traffic stop over a broken headlight in January 2015 got Hi Ta Lar arrested for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. He was a passenger in the vehicle and no uncontrolled substances were found on him.
Law enforcement had him provide a urine sample in a cup without consent or a search warrant, according to the ruling. Methamphetamine was found in his urine, and, after denied motions to suppress results of the urinalysis, Lar was sentenced to three years in prison in August 2016.
Lar through his attorney, David Wheeler in Beadle County, appealed, raising the issue of whether law enforcement may, without a warrant, require someone arrested to provide a urine sample as a search incident to arrest.
Lar was a passenger in a vehicle in January 2015 when the vehicle was pulled over for having a broken headlight. The driver had a “nervous appearance” and police used a drug dog, which indicated there were drugs in the vehicle. Officers found marijuana and paraphernalia. He had to provide a urine sample in a cup in front of an officer.
When an arrest is made, an officer can search the person to see if there are any weapons that