A prosecutor in Central Ohio heard about Warren's program in Harris County and is implementing it in his jurisdiction. Perhaps he read about it in The Texas Prosecutor?
Speedy blood tests await drunken-driving suspects
Friday, May 23, 2008 3:08 AM
By Sarah Pulliam
THE COLUMBUS (OH) DISPATCH
Drink and drive this weekend, and you might find your blood being drawn before your hangover kicks in.
Drunken-driving suspects who are arrested and taken to the Delaware County jail over the Memorial Day weekend will face an immediate blood draw by a nurse after a waiting judge signs and faxes back a search warrant, Delaware County Prosecutor David Yost said.
"We'll have all the pieces in place to get the search warrant quickly, within a three-hour window," said Yost, who got the idea from The Prosecutor magazine.
Prosecutors in Harris County, Texas, convicted and, in one case, exonerated drunken-driving suspects last Memorial Day weekend by getting expedited search warrants for on-the-spot blood draws, Yost said.
For the rest of the article, click HERE.
We don't wait for special weekends in Colorado County. We do it 24/7/365 in every DWI case where there is a breath test refusal.
Amen to that!
Our officers have the process so streamline, they sometimes even have a warrant inhand within what would have been the 15 min. observation period had the suspect not refused. I have not had to try but one DWI in the last year, when I use to try 8-10 BTR-DWI's a year. Its even better than the breath test when you have a low BAC but other intoxicants present. DPS will not test for THC in a biological sample, but we spend the money for private lab tests if called for.
Seeking warrant each refusal also eliminates claims of selective or discriminatory enforcement.
I just cannot say enough good things about 24/7/365 blood warrants.
Just curious if suspects that refuse the breath test would be willing to do a pee test instead?
It's not their choice to make.
Alex, unlike Section 724.011, Section 522.102, Transportation Code, does give an officer the option of asking for a urine specimen from a person if the officer has probable cause to believe the person was operating the CMV while having alcohol, a controlled substance, or drug in his or her system. Even under Section 724.011, an officer can request another type of specimen (See 2724.011(b)), however I was taught that if the officer did and the person refuses, the ALR provisions don't apply nor can the state offer evidence of the person's refusal at trial (since 724.061 only refers to refusal to submit a request for a breath or blood specimen by the officer).
From my good ole days as an ALR attorney!
We had our first "No Refusal" weekend here in Polk County over the past Memorial Day Weekend. We were fortunate in that we had extra DPS troopers assigned to our county, several TABC agents for bar enforcement, and numerous out of county Game Wardens working Lake Livingston. Our sheriff's department and 2 municipal police departments stepped up their patrols as well. We were also lucky to have a district judge who voluntarily hung out at the jail almost all of Friday and Saturday nights, and a County Court at Law judge for most of Sunday evening-- to rule on search warrant applications. Typically, our county of 50,000 will have between 3-6 DWI arrests over the course of an average weekend. This past weekend, we had 14 DWI arrests and 5 BWI arrests. We issued 7 search warrants for blood. Of the DWI arrests, it looks like at least 3 will be felonies (3rd or more) and 2 will be DWI w/a child. Of those who blew, the highest BAC was .21 with a .20 right behind him. I'll be interested to see the blood test results.
We publicized the task force beforehand in the local print and TV media. Lots of people contacted, especially boaters on the lake, were using designated drivers and specifically commented that it was due to the stepped up enforcement. We did have at least one bar owner complaining on Saturday night that our effort was "bad for his business!"
Everything went smoothly and the statistic that I am most proud of is that we had ZERO alcohol related accidents in our county over the Memorial Day holiday. We fed the out of county officers Friday and Saturday night. Everyone seemed to get into it and enjoyed meeting new friends. We already planning another effort later this year either 4th of July or Labor Day.
And truly, that is the goal and purpose of the enforcement of these laws. Good work!
Is anyone aware of a representative or senator who plans to file a bill on this issue similar to HB 1810 filed in the last session? Also, does anyone have an opinion as to what type of bill would most likely succeed or have the broadest support across the state (i.e., mandatory blood draws in felonies only; cases where the defendant has been arrested once before, twice before; bodily injury accidents, etc.)? As a judge who is awakened in the middle of the night to sign these warrants, along with I'm sure many other judges, I am hoping for some legislative relief!
Just to clarify, the question I am trying to ask is if the accused might trust the accuracy/reliability of a urine test more than they trust breath test machine. If they agree to the pee test instead wouldnt that be better than nothing and also easier than waking a judge for a warrant?
Taking a look at the implied consent rule, I think this says that everyone has consented to blood and breath tests and you may additionally consent to any other test.
724.011. CONSENT TO TAKING OF SPECIMEN. (a) If a person is arrested for an offense arising out of acts alleged to have been committed while the person was operating a motor vehicle in a public place, or a watercraft, while intoxicated, or an offense under Section 106.041, Alcoholic Beverage Code, the person is deemed to have consented, subject to this chapter, to submit to the taking of one or more specimens of the person's breath or blood for analysis to determine the alcohol concentration or the presence in the person's body of a controlled substance, drug, dangerous drug, or other substance. (b) A person arrested for an offense described by Subsection (a) may consent to submit to the taking of any other type of specimen to determine the person's alcohol concentration.
Well, it may not happen unless those judges get involved in the legislative process.
All questions about future legislation should be directed to me at 512/474-2436. LB, I would be happy to speak to you in detail about this issue, so feel free to call me at your convenience.
I think the last post was just a plug for an office supply store.
I must admit I did not read the entire thread to see if we were mentioned, but I did notice we were missing from the poll. Burleson and Washington Counties have now been on-line, at least with DPS for about 6 months, and it is great! Talk about a plea inducer and some of the levels on felons especially are frightening. My boss pushed for it, along with Julie Renken the County Attorney in Washington County and thanks to help from folks like on this site, we have the fill in forms, etc. and the system is working great. Only problems we have are finding judges after hours, etc. - seems one District Judge gets called on almost all the time. But, it really has made a difference.
I guess that blood results are going to become as slow as DNA though and that will really slow things down.
Hill County uses blood search warrants in all BTR felonies and certain BTR misdemeanors (refusal of SFST's or m.v. accident). DPS also obtains them in DWI-2nd offenses. Like some other similarly sized counties, we only have two judges (one District and one CCL)that can sign them. With I-35 running through our county, the judges are awakened often.
I would like to get a copy of any of your search warrant forms, agreements with your hospital, protocols, and anything else you have to offer. We are working on starting this program in our county. Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I e-mailed you the forms we use.
I get warrants on *ALL* DWI refusals, period. Felony or not. I'm only interested in blood.
�No Refusal� DWI Campaign Begins For New Year�s
Smith County defense attorneys said they will be vigilant in making sure law enforcement officials develop probable cause to get warrants for blood tests of suspected driving while intoxicated offenders during the "No Refusal" campaign this New Year's holiday.
Smith County law enforcement agencies have announced that they will participate in a "No Refusal" DWI campaign Wednesday through Saturday.
"Upon the arrest of a suspected drunken driver, he or she will be asked if they would submit to blow into a breath-test machine or take a blood test. If the driver refuses and says 'no,' officers will obtain an immediate search warrant signed by a judge on call to have blood drawn by a nurse on staff at the Smith County Jail," said Don Martin, Tyler Police public information officer.
It's cheaper to pay for a taxi than to hire a defense lawyer. Stay safe during the holidays. Don't drink and drive.
Kind of a silly answer by defense attorneys. Didn't they have the same obligation to challenge the existence of probable cause, regardless whether the arrest resulted in a breath test or refusal and search warrant? Once again, they try to make it sound like this is something special. Law enforcement have been seeking search warrants since the passage of the Fourth Amendment.
[This message was edited by JB on 12-31-08 at .]
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