DWI Blood Tests: Collin County to Launch Mandatory DWI Blood Tests by Plano DWI attorney Troy Burleson
By Collin, Dallas and Denton County DWI Lawyer Troy Burleson
According to an NBC 5 report for May 13, 2008, Collin County will begin efforts to make mandatory blood testing a standard procedure for DWI traffic stops. As I have reported before, the District attorney believes that this policy will force more people charged with DWI to plead their case instead of set them for trial.
Collin County District Attorney, John Roach, is quoted in the article saying, “We [the Collin County District Attorney’s Office] expect most defendants to plead guilty rather than go through trial because of the scientific evidence [blood test] will show they were intoxicated.” District Attorney Roach went on to indicate that implementing the mandatory blood draw program will help unclog the Collin County courts in which DWI cases currently make up 65 percent of the jury trial cases.
This brings up two interesting questions. First, what happens to the DWI cases in which the person arrested and given a mandatory blood draw ends up with a blood/alcohol concentration under the legal limit of 0.08? May we assume that the Collin County District Attorney’s Office will dismiss all of these cases to “unclog” the courts trial docket? It is very doubtful the will!
The second question is why there is such a need for “scientific evidence?” Any attorney who has tried a refusal DWI case will tell you the arresting officers and the prosecutors routinely tell juries that the SFSTs (Standardized Field Sobriety Tests) are used in all fifty states and studies have shown that they accurately predict whether or not a person is intoxicated. May we now assume that these SFSTs aren’t as reliable, scientifically, as they have historically been presented?
Regardless of the whether Collin County implements mandatory blood draws on a permanent basis or not, the courts will remain clogged with DWI cases. It is my opinion that forcible inserting a needle into a person’s body and extracting blood will case more of a “clog” on the judicial system than many people think. As local attorney, Todd Shapiro, stated, “You have constitutional right that protect [you] from police intruding in specific ways, namely taking fluid from your body.”
The result of these mandatory blood draw programs will be that attorney’s like Mr. Shapiro and myself filing for Motions to Suppress, Motions to Exclude Evidence, etc. , setting more DWI cases for jury trial and the Appealing any guilty verdict on legal and Constitutional grounds. All of this will increasingly “clog” the system not decrease it.