For the past several months, Frisco criminal lawyer James P. Whalen has been appearing on 1190 AM’s Ask the Expert to educate listeners about state and federal laws and criminal proceedings. During his most recent appearance on December 27, Mr. Whalen spoke about little-known rules that are part of the statutes covering DUIs and DWIs in Texas which have recently changed.
All of these center around the implied consent law. Most people probably know this, but under the implied consent law, every driver gives implied consent for a blood-alcohol test. This is just as true in Texas as it is for every other state in our country. If you get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle and take it out on the road, you are giving what is called your “implied consent” to have an officer conduct a blood-alcohol test on you.
That means that you essentially “agree unless you disagree.” Or, in other words, you can refuse a test, but you’ll face penalties. And as you’ll see below, in the past the law has also provided for times when you may not be given the opportunity to refuse. For example:
If a driver who is believed to be intoxicated is involved in an accident, the police have the right to do a blood test on him or her without their consent.
If someone is injured or could possibly pass away, the police have the right to get a sample without consent. But this may not even matter, because if an injured person goes to a hospital, they can do a test there without consent.
If someone is charged with a DWI and they have a passenger under the age of 14, the police have the right to perform a blood test without their permission. Additionally, people should know that this type of DWI is automatically charged as a felony in Texas.
If someone already has at least two DWI convictions, police are allowed to get a mandatory blood sample – even if the person in question isn’t aware of what’s happening.
Remember, though, this is about laws that have changed. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals recently ruled that those parts of the law – those exceptions that allow police to test you without your okay – are unconstitutional. Now law enforcement officials have to show probable cause, and they have to get a warrant if they want to test you without your permission.
Want to hear more? You can listen to the whole appearance here or use the player below.
And if you have already been charged with a DWI or DUI and want to know what your options are, give us a call. Only a Texas defense attorney with experience handling DWI cases can give you the best chance at having your charges reduced or even dropped altogether. Don’t delay – call now at 855-892-1932 or fill out our online consultation form.