Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Making it easier to draw blood in Texas

Today Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) introduced Senate Bill 1607, entitled An Act relating to the issuance of a search warrant for a blood specimen from certain persons arrested for certain intoxication offenses was recently introduced in the Texas Senate.  His is a companion bill to State Rep. Allen Vaught's (D-Dallas) bill (HB13) filed in the House on February 17, 2009.

As things stand currently, per Article 18.01(c)(3) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, search warrants may only be issued by a judge of a municipal court of record, a county judge who is a licensed attorney in the State of Texas, or the judge of any statutory county court, district court, Court of Criminal Appeals or Supreme Court.

Sen. West's proposed legislation would allow magistrates who are licensed attorneys in the State of Texas to issue search warrants to collect blood specimens from anyone who is arrested for driving while intoxicated, intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter and who refuses to submit to a breath or blood test.

The proposed bills would make it easier for the state to find a judge willing to turn a blind eye to the constitution and sign a warrant authorizing a forced blood draw. The proposed change would not affect any other type of search warrant. Just another example of the "special" treatment those citizens accused of DWI are subjected to in Texas.

No comments: