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Suppression of Evidence – Good Faith Exception

WI Supreme Court

Case Name: State of Wisconsin v. Dawn M. Prado

Case No.: 2021 WI 64

Focus: Suppression of Evidence – Good Faith Exception

Both the State of Wisconsin and Dawn Prado seek review of a published decision of the court of appeals, which determined that Wisconsin’s incapacitated driver provision contained within the implied consent statute, Wis. Stat. § 343.305 (2017-18) is unconstitutional. However, the court of appeals additionally determined that under the facts of this case, the application of the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule allows for the admission of the blood test evidence Prado sought to suppress.

The State asks us to review the court of appeals’ determination that the incapacitated driver provision is unconstitutional. Prado requests review of the court of appeals’ application of the good faith exception and its conclusion that the evidence need not be suppressed despite the constitutional violation. We conclude that the incapacitated driver provision is unconstitutional beyond a reasonable doubt. The provision’s “deemed” consent authorizes warrantless searches that do not fulfill any recognized exception to the warrant requirement and thus the provision violates the Fourth Amendment’s proscription of unreasonable searches.

However, we further conclude that under the facts of this case, law enforcement drew Prado’s blood in reasonable reliance on a statute that had not been determined to be unconstitutional. Consequently, the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule applies and the evidence resulting from the draw of Prado’s blood need not be suppressed. Accordingly, we affirm the decision of the court of appeals.

Affirmed

Concur: ROGGENSACK, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which ZIEGLER, C.J., joined.

Dissent:

Full Text

Derek A Hawkins is Corporate Counsel, at Salesforce.

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