In an action challenging the constitutionality of a New York Police Department (NYPD) policy that required that a breathalyzer test be administered to every NYPD officer who caused injury or death as a result of firing his or her gun, denial of a preliminary injunction is affirmed where: 1) the district court did not make a clearly erroneous assessment of the evidence when it found that the primary purpose of the breathalyzer policy was not the NYPD's general interest in crime control, and thus fell under the "special needs" doctrine of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence; 2) the fact that crime control was one purpose -- but not the primary purpose -- of the breathalyzer policy did not bar the application of the "special needs" doctrine to the breathalyzer policy; and 3) based on the record at this stage of the proceedings, the breathalyzer policy was reasonable under the three-factor balancing test of the "special needs" doctrine.
Argued November 18, 2009
Decided December 11, 2009
Opinion by Judge Cabranes
Thomas P. Puccio, Michael T. Murray, New York, NY