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As an interesting twist on your tampering question, I had a DWI defendant one time who, after she was arrested for the DWI, popped one of the xanax pills she had with her (that the officer didn't find) in her mouth. Obviously blood results in that case would be materially altered from what they would have been at the time of driving. Tampering with blood results in that case?
 
Posts: 1089 | Location: UNT Dallas | Registered: June 29, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Currently in Brevard County Florida, the DRE officers and deputies use the blood warrant process, 6 of us, but it is still in its infancy. The problems I have found, there is a time consuming event to get with each Judge one on one to get their agreements to participate. We try to use the email and fax method, where the officer�s signature is imposed on the application for the search warrant and the oath is done over the cell phone. The original warrant is then collected during normal business hours and filed with the clerk of court. There are over 20 Judges in our county, but currently only 4 Judges are participating. I am trying to get a full attendance of all the Judges to have a Q & A session, but can�t seem to get the State to organize the event. One Judge asked me, who am I, to be trying to organize this process. I�m just a cop. I would also like to see the county pay for or maybe ask the Judges to pay for fax machines in the residences. To date our county is the only one in Florida doing this business and would wish that this would catch like wild fire. We operate under what Brent (Denton Tx) was stating, but would add that any case where there are evidences that are not as strong as one would like, to get a good chance at prosecution, just add blood evidence and things might look a little better. For every jurisdiction that embraces this process, it fortifies the process in another jurisdiction.
 
Posts: 1 | Location: Palm Bay, FL, Brevard | Registered: February 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Welcome, Officer Florida, and congratulations on your first post. Yes, the early stages of the blood search warrant process can be frustrating. But, trust that you are doing the right thing and that, over time, it will work out.

Getting local prosecutors to buy in to the program has shown to improve the participation of judges. We made sure that the judge knows a prosecutor gets woken up first (cell phone). The prosecutor screens the search warrant and calls the judge to schedule the arrival of the officer for a signature to the search warrant.

Yes, fax machines speed things up. In our county, the judges preferred to rotate a late night phone call through the judges. That means they each are likely to get a call only once every month or so.

The media can also improve matters. Doing a timely interview on the subject can suddenly get judges interested in participating. After all, what judge wants to be perceived as blocking law enforcement from saving lives?

The best solution, however, is legislative. Eventually, the legislature needs to give law enforcement authority to require breath or blood samples from DWI suspects.
 
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Who performs the actual blood draw in your county? Do you contract with hospital or an outside lab, or do you have employees who do it? Do you do it at the jail or a hospital? Thanks in advance.
 
Posts: 36 | Location: Corpus Christi, TX 78401 | Registered: January 26, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We use the hospital personnel and do so at the hospital facility. They didn't ask us to sign any sort of a contract.
 
Posts: 280 | Location: Weatherford, Texas | Registered: March 25, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In Colorado County, we have the hospital personnel do it at the hospital.
 
Posts: 1029 | Location: Fort Worth, TX | Registered: June 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We have a nurse who volunteers to come to the Jail and draw the blood so long as he is avalible. Other than that its a quick trip to the local hospital. There is no charge as long as we provide all the materials to draw the blood (paid for out of forfeited funds) and an "order of assistance" for the blood draw.

We are having a No Refusal year - word has gotten out and when asked for breath more than one local has said something to the effect of "I might as well blow, you'll just take my blood if I dont!"
 
Posts: 261 | Location: Lampasas, Texas, USA | Registered: November 29, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here's a good article about Midland's recent "No Refusal" weekend:

April 12, 2008 article in Midland Reporter-Telegram

Here's the "fact box" from the article, in which 26 drivers were arrested (8 for felony DWI):

Youngest driver arrested 17
Oldest driver arrested 56
Average age of drivers 33

Consent cases:
Highest BAC with breath test 0.205
Lowest BAC with breath test 0.085
Average BAC with breath test 0.136

Refusal cases:
Highest BAC with a blood sample 0.32
Lowest BAC with a blood sample 0.13
Average BAC with a blood sample 0.22
 
Posts: 2406 | Location: TDCAA | Registered: March 08, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Perhaps such statistics could be used to support the argument that a refusal is given because the driver is REALLY drunk.
 
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Any of you kind prosecutors care to share your blood search warrant forms with me? We are contemplating using the one that the LEADRS program generates, but we have yet to work out the logistics as far as signatures (eletronic?)and the presentation to the judge (via email).

Thanks in advance.
 
Posts: 95 | Location: Marble Falls, TX USA | Registered: October 29, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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E-mailed our forms. Let me know if you don't receive them.
 
Posts: 476 | Location: Parker County, Texas | Registered: March 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks much!
 
Posts: 95 | Location: Marble Falls, TX USA | Registered: October 29, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Shannon, add San Jacinto County to that list for Memorial Day Weekend. We are across Lake Livingston from Polk County and utilize the same district judges so it should run smoothly.
 
Posts: 14 | Location: Coldspring, San Jacinto County, Texas, USA | Registered: July 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One of the keys to success on these weekends is to get the media involved and advertise the heck out of it. After our last "no refusal" weekend I heard numerous stories about people being told about the program when they were at restaurants and bars. Success is measured not just by the number arrested but by all of those who opted not to put themselves at risk for arrest.
Tarrant County is planning a 4th of July "No Refusal" Weekend. It would be great to have other Counties across the State declare their independence from "breath test refusals"
 
Posts: 261 | Location: Fort Worth, Texas | Registered: February 21, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Bill Burnett:
Shannon, add San Jacinto County to that list for Memorial Day Weekend. We are across Lake Livingston from Polk County and utilize the same district judges so it should run smoothly.


Done!
 
Posts: 2406 | Location: TDCAA | Registered: March 08, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Shannon, we have been doing blood search warrants in Nolan County for about 2 years, but only on felony DWIs. Within the last year we have started doing them in Fisher and Mitchell Counties, also. But again, only on felonies.
 
Posts: 170 | Location: San Antonio, TX | Registered: May 31, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Edwards:
Shannon, we have been doing blood search warrants in Nolan County for about 2 years, but only on felony DWIs. Within the last year we have started doing them in Fisher and Mitchell Counties, also. But again, only on felonies.


Added you too, Mark. Thanks!
 
Posts: 2406 | Location: TDCAA | Registered: March 08, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Alcohol concentrations came back on our first batch of no-refusal weekend:
.25
.19
.12
.22
.23
.11
.32 (resisted the draw)
.16
average = .20 (interestingly enough, I believe that is the same as Tarrant County's New Year's)

I am sold.
 
Posts: 62 | Location: Lubbock, TX | Registered: November 20, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Its amazing how many long-term alcohol abusers can appear relatively normal on audio and video--then give a breath or blood sample with a .20 concentration.
 
Posts: 476 | Location: Parker County, Texas | Registered: March 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What makes it double-sweet is our very first defendant was a "total" refusal. I don't think it worked out quite as he planned.
 
Posts: 62 | Location: Lubbock, TX | Registered: November 20, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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