New DWI law in effect in Texas concerning blood draws
The actions of law enforcement are continually being reviewed to determine if they have the powers that they need when investigating crimes. With all of the advancements in modern technology, the courts need to be sure that the officers are respecting the rights of those suspected of committing crimes. This includes those individuals arrested for driving while intoxicated.
In Texas, a new law has recently been passed that could have a major impact on those individuals accused of DWI. The law gives law enforcement officers the power to order paramedics to draw blood if the officers suspect that alcohol may have played a role in a traffic accident.
Some regions within the state, including Bexar County, have discussed potentially training a force of paramedics that would be working with mobile DWI units to investigate these accidents. This could mean that many more individuals could be facing DWI charges.
No warrant is required before the blood is drawn, despite a recent U.S. Supreme Court case that called warrantless blood draws into question. In that case, the court refused to create a rule that would permit law enforcement officers to order blood draws whenever they felt it was necessary. Each instance would have to be analyzed to determine if the officer had enough time to seek out a warrant, or the reasons the officer believed that they were on the verge of losing evidence.
It remains to be seen how this law will impact DWIs in Texas. Some police departments have changed their procedures, and have insisted that their officers obtain a warrant in most DWI matters.
The warrants may make it easier for the prosecution to use this evidence at any later trials that may result. Others may simply rely upon the recent legislation and try to claim that a warrant was not necessary, which means that it is the word of law enforcement against that of the impaired motorist. These could lead to very difficult and complex cases.
If you have been charged with a DWI, you need to take the matter extremely seriously. These are crimes that carry significant penalties, and a conviction can make your life much more complicated. If you have a job that requires you to have a driver’s license, a conviction may impact your livelihood.
Speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your specific case. An attorney can review these facts, and then prepare a strong defense to the accusations that you are facing. This can include challenging some of the evidence that the prosecution has, and also examining some of the procedures used by police during your arrest.