Texas Now Requires Warrant For DWI Blood Test
In what some consider to be a blow to drunk driving enforcement, a Texas court has ruled that law enforcement must first obtain a warrant before administering a blood test to determine Blood Alcohol levels.
In a 5 to 4 decision, the highest criminal court in the state ruled that to obtain a blood alcohol blood sample against a person's will is unconstitutional. Judge Elsa Alcala wrote the majority opinion, saying,
We hold that a nonconsensual search of a DWI suspect's blood conducted pursuant to the mandatory-blood-draw and implied-consent provisions in the Transportation Code, when undertaken in the absence of a warrant or any applicable exception to the warrant requirement, violates the Fourth Amendment.
While some have been concerned that the overturning of the "no refusal" rule will allowed the guilty to get away with their crime, legal experts have said that the new rules will be protecting the public and the chance for allowing the guilty to go free is minimal. Fort Worth lawyer Greg Westfall said,
Why is it a good thing? Well, if you're the one driving and a police officer wants to stick you with a needle, it's good to have somebody standing between you and him that's going to make a neutral decision as to whether that's going to happen.
Pointing out that the new law is merely changing the means in which an officer can order a drug test to be done, specifically adding the step of requiring a warrant, the whole process of getting the warrant will likely take less than thirty minutes.