Criminal Law

Taking Blood Samples

Certain organizations are pushing for for court ordered blood samples when drunk driving is suspected.

Approximatley a year ago a handful of Texas Cities started a controversial 'no refusal' policy for drawing blood in cases of suspected driving while intoxicated in Texas. The initiative has been used across Texas on certain holiday weekends, utilizing warrants that require defendants to provide blood samples if they refuse to submit to breath-tests or refuse to give samples voluntarily. Now many Police Departments want to expand it to a year-round effort.

It has been reported that a key restriction to the program has been the availability of judges to sign the court ordered warrants. Currently judges volunteer their time to be available weekends and after-hours. When a driver is stopped for suspicion of drunk driving, a judge can sign a warrant and the suspect is taken to the County Jail where a blood sample is taken. The sample is then tested for blood alcohol content.

Some are pushing to make the blood draw initiative a year round effort, where judges would always have to be available to sign warrants. are on duty around the clock though under current state law County jail magistrates they are prohibited from signing 'evidentiary' search warrants.  

Defenses to this type of intrusion include a constitutional liberty against unreasonable search and seizure of evidence, for the forced blood draw program is being used to negate a defendant’s legal right to refuse to submit to a breath, urine or blood test. Existing state law defines situations when a blood draw is appropriate, including accidents involving injury and repeat DWI offenders. There are also questions regarding the proper drawing, handling and storage of what amounts to key evidence in a criminal case.

For more information call our Office at 210.222.2288

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