I have recently been informed that DPS troopers are not allowed to request a search warrant for blood in DWI/refusal cases per DPS policy. Have any jurisdictions using the warrant procedure had this same experience? I was also told that the warrant interferes with the ALR procedure.
If that is the reason or part of the reason, why are we more concerned with a license suspension than collecting our bset evidence in a DWI case?
I am not posting this to make waves, but looking for a workable solution to stop all the refusals. If all law enforcement agencies in the jurisdiction are not on the same page, any program seems sporadic at best. I suppose I could refuse to take the cases where a warrant was not requested, but hope it doesn't come to that.
Thanks for your thoughts!
If they are so concerned with license suspensions, perhaps we might remind them that a DWI conviction is much more certain to result in suspension, and it doesn't give the defense attorney a free shot at our witnesses before trial.
Personally, if I had to do away with a DL suspension in order to get more DWI convictions, I'd say that's a more than fair trade.
You have been misinformed; DPS does cooperate with those district and county attorneys who have asked their law enforcement officers to get evidentiary search warrants for blood in DWI refusal cases. Please contact your area sergeant. If this is who told you that DPS policy is no search warrants for blood, he or she is also misinformed. The contact at DPS HQ in Highway Patrol is Major David Baker, 512-424-2000.
Or if you prefer, you may contact me directly at 512-424-2345 and I will relay your problem to Major Baker.
Senior Assistant General Counsel
Our DPS troopers are eagerly doing search warrants for blood in DWI breath test refusals. In fact, DPS has been the agency most responsible for getting the program going in my jurisdiction. I've seen nothing but cooperation from the two DPS offices in my three counties.
Thanks for clearing that up! Specifically I was told that DPS legal had not cleared the proceedure yet therefore, no more requests for warrants. That did not sound right to me as I thought those issues had already been covered on this forum.
Additionally, after my first post, I received another case where the Defendant refused the test and no warrant was requested. That case was submitted by a different trooper than the first so I will do some investigation. I knew If i posted this query that Janette would see it and give us the straight scoop on where DPS stands.Thanks for the response, I will pass it along and get the process back on track.
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