Supreme Court justices showed unease Wednesday about letting police without a search warrant draw a blood sample from an unwilling drunken-driving suspect, but they also expressed sympathy for the urgency faced by officers in such traffic stops.

The justices heard arguments in a hot-button case on constitutional rights from Missouri, where authorities stuck a needle into the arm of handcuffed suspect Tyler McNeely.

The state, backed by the Obama administration, said it shouldn't have to wait for a magistrate's approval because blood-alcohol level diminishes after a person stops drinking. Mr. McNeely's lawyers said his Fourth Amendment protection against "unreasonable searches" was violated. They said 25 states explicitly require warrants for involuntary blood draws, suggesting the safeguard is workable.

Read the full Wall Street Journal story.

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