The highest court in Texas ruled on Nov. 25 that police officers must get a warrant or obtain consent before drawing blood. While there are certain situations when an officer may be able to draw blood without doing so, those situations are thought to be rare. In the past, a police officer could get away without getting a warrant in the event that a DWI accident resulted in bodily injury.
Police often bypassed getting a warrant before drawing blood in cases involving drivers who had two or more convictions for DWI. Attorneys representing those who have been charged with DWI applauded the ruling as standing up for the Fourth Amendment rights of those who have been charged with driving under the influence. A representative from the San Antonio Police Department said that they have almost always get warrants and will abide by the law.
In a case where a driver is taken into custody for suspicion of driving under the influence, that driver may face serious consequences. For instance, it may be possible for a driver to have his or her license suspended, be forced to pay a fine or spend time in jail. These penalties may apply even if it is that driver’s first conviction for driving under the influence.
However, it may be possible to avoid some or all of these penalties with the help of a DWI defense attorney. An attorney may be able to dispute the charge in court, which could lead to a full acquittal or a plea deal in the case. An attorney may argue that a blood sample was taken improperly, which may be enough to have the charge thrown out entirely.
Source: KENS, “TX court rules warrants needed for DWI“, Phil Anaya, November 27, 2014