Many people don’t understand the laws behind mandatory blood draws in Texas. If an officer suspects that you are driving drunk or have committed a felony DWI, there are many ways for them to obtain a warrant for a blood draw.
Before you hit the bars this weekend, make sure you know the real facts on mandatory blood draws in Texas and pass the info along to your friends.
When can police perform a mandatory blood draw in Texas?
Mandatory blood draw laws can cause a lot of confusion. We’re frequently being asked “Don’t you need a warrant to draw blood in Texas?” and “Wait, can the police draw blood without consent?”
Here are the facts. In the state of Texas, anyone driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 (the legal alcohol blood level in Texas) or higher can be arrested for driving while intoxicated. For the most accurate results, police turn to blood draws to establish intoxication and prove DWI.
While it is possible to forego the blood test in favor of a breathalyzer, certain situations allow the police to perform a mandatory blood draw. According to Transp. Code § 724.012, the following factors can result in a near-instant blood search warrant and consequent DWI blood test.
- You were involved in a fatal or harmful accident that a police officer reasonably believes to be the result of a DWI
- A child is in the car at the time of the suspected DWI
- The officer is made aware that you were previously convicted of your first and second DWI in Texas (or just two 2 DWIs total)
- The officer is made aware of a conviction for a felony DWI, including DWI with a child passenger, intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter
- You’re passed out and are deemed to have consented if conscious.
So yes, for better or worse, the police can draw blood without your consent (but not without a warrant). While these situations may require a mandatory blood draw in Texas, police officers still have other options for obtaining an on-the-spot blood sample.
How police officers obtain blood test warrants
Back in the day, Texas drivers knew to be extra careful during so-called “No Refusal Weekends.” Set during popular drinking celebrations like July 4th, New Year’s, Labor Day, etc., police could obtain a blood search warrant on the spot and test you in a mobile blood draw lab before you had even gone to jail.
These days, a little known fact is that no refusal “weekend” is seven days a week, 365 days a year. If a police officer suspects you of driving while intoxicated but none of the aforementioned conditions for a mandatory blood draw are present, there are still other methods they may rely on to prove intoxication.
Typically, a police officer will request that you perform a roadside sobriety test. These tests are deeply problematic and make it easy for police officers to obtain a testing warrant. (Read more in our blog if you’re wondering, “Can you refuse a field sobriety test?”)
A police officer can also request that you consent to intoxication analysis via a breathalyzer. Refusing these tests won’t help you cheat the system. Instead, refusing to take a breath test can result in a near-instant warrant for a blood draw.
A mandatory blood draw in Texas is NOT the end
Whether your blood draw was mandatory or consented to, the resulting DWI charge can still be beaten. Meanwhile, breathalyzers and roadside sobriety tests are incredibly faulty and can produce some highly suspect results.
Houston DWI attorney Mark Thiessen is known for his aggressive strategies that beat the result of blood tests. His experience as both a prosecutor and a Houston DWI attorney makes him uniquely qualified to analyze and scrutinize the results of intoxication analysis and help deserving clients win their cases.
Quit Googling “How long does it take to get blood alcohol test results in Texas?” and take fate into your own hands.Reach out to The Thiessen Law Firm today by calling 713-864-9000 or filling out our online form for your free consultation.
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