Most people would agree that a forced blood draw from an individual is invasive and a violation of their civil rights. While we may all agree on this premise, under certain circumstances the State of Texas can strap you down and forcibly draw blood from you.
If you are stopped while driving and accused of DWI, you will be asked to submit to a breath test. If you refuse, your license may be suspended. If you blow over the legal limit of .08, your license may be suspended.
On what has come to be known as No Refusal Weekends, if the police obtain a search warrant from a judge it will not matter whether you refuse to submit to a breath test in a driving while intoxicated charge. The warrant allows the state to draw blood from you.
If you fall into certain categories (two prior DWIs and accidents where there are injuries to the parties) listed in the Texas Transportation Code, the police do not need a warrant to obtain your blood. Under Texas in these circumstances the police law are given the authority draw your blood whether you consent or not.
The law is listed in the Texas Transportation Code Section 724.012 subsection b as follows:
Sec. 724.012. TAKING OF SPECIMEN.
(b) A peace officer shall require the taking of a specimen of the person’s breath or blood under any of the following circumstances if the officer arrests the person for an offense under Chapter 49, Penal Code, involving the operation of a motor vehicle or a watercraft and the person refuses the officer’s request to submit to the taking of a specimen voluntarily:
(1) the person was the operator of a motor vehicle or a watercraft involved in an accident that the officer reasonably believes occurred as a result of the offense and, at the time of the arrest, the officer reasonably believes that as a direct result of the accident:
(A) any individual has died or will die;
(B) an individual other than the person has suffered serious bodily injury; or
(C) an individual other than the person has suffered bodily injury and been transported to a hospital or other medical facility for medical treatment;
(2) the offense for which the officer arrests the person is an offense under Section 49.045, Penal Code; or
(3) at the time of the arrest, the officer possesses or receives reliable information from a credible source that the person:
(A) has been previously convicted of or placed on community supervision for an offense under Section 49.045, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code, or an offense under the laws of another state containing elements substantially similar to the elements of an offense under those sections; or
(B) on two or more occasions, has been previously convicted of or placed on community supervision for an offense under Section 49.04, 49.05, 49.06, or 49.065, Penal Code, or an offense under the laws of another state containing elements substantially similar to the elements of an offense under those sections.
(c) The peace officer shall designate the type of specimen to be taken.
(d) In this section, “bodily injury” and “serious bodily injury” have the meanings assigned by Section 1.07, Penal Code.
Just because your blood is drawn does not mean that you are guilty. The state always has the burden to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt and it is likely that there is many issues to contest.
If you or someone you know is in need of a DWI Lawyer in Houston, call Houston DWI Attorney Mario Madrid at 713-877-9400.