Texas law allows police to forcibly take blood without consent, if:
- The individual in question has been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) and has been involved in a motor vehicle accident
- If a passenger of the other vehicle is taken by ambulance for treatment of their injuries.
Additionally, if you are suspected of DWI and have certain previous DWI-related offenses—and do not submit to a blood test—by Texas law, law enforcement has the right to forcibly obtain a blood or breath sample from you.
In Texas, the police can draw blood without explicit consent in certain circumstances. Individuals can be forced to have their blood drawn, per Texas Transportation Code Chapter 724. Implied Consent Sec. 724.011. This means that if an individual is suspected by an officer of the peace to have been intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle or watercraft—or appears to have violated the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Code Sec. 106.041—they automatically consent to submit blood or breath for analysis.
Circumstances That Warrant a Blood Sample After Suspicion of DWI
Additionally, other circumstances that may allow an officer to require a blood specimen from an individual who is arrested (if the individual refuses to voluntarily give blood) include:
- If the individual in question was operating a vehicle that was involved in an accident and the officer has reasons to believe the accident was caused as a result of this individual’s intoxication
- If the officer has reason to believe an individual has died due to the accident or may die as a result
- If another individual (other than the individual whose intoxication is in question) has suffered bodily injury
- If another individual involved in the accident has been taken to the hospital for medical treatment
- If a child under the age of 15 was in the vehicle
- If you previously have been convicted of DWI with a child under the age of 15 present
- If you have previously been convicted of a felony DWI
- If you were previously convicted of intoxication manslaughter
- If you have a previous conviction of intoxication assault
- If the officer has received credible information that the individual in question over their intoxication has been placed on community supervision
Furthermore, the officer holds the right to determine which type of specimen is taken.
If a Warrant Was Served for a Blood Test
It is legal for police to issue a warrant for a blood test if you are arrested for DWI or a DUI. If you were served with a warrant before being forced to submit to a blood sample, however, there are strict regulations the police must follow for that blood sample to be admissible in court.
A search warrant may be issued to force a blood sample without your consent. But again, this is a process that requires strict adherence to a specific protocol—which, if not followed—can cause the results of the blood sample to be void as evidence.
Consequences You May Face With a DWI Conviction
The specific outcome of your DWI case will depend on various factors. Generally, a DWI conviction is a Class B misdemeanor. Such a charge typically results in a minimum of 72 hours of confinement, as stated in Texas Penal Code Chapter 49. Sec. 49.04. If you have been in an accident in which others were injured and you received a DWI, the charge is instantly elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony. In the event that you received a DWI charge from an accident you were involved in, the law prohibits you from ever having your record sealed—if you are convicted.
For this reason alone, speaking to a lawyer is very much recommended. The finality of your circumstances may not be in your favor. A lawyer may be able to work on your behalf to ensure that you are treated fairly. They may be able to help you avoid conviction through their clear understanding of Texas’s DWI laws
Discuss Your Case With a DWI Lawyer for Help
If you were in an accident that may have involved intoxication manslaughter and you were forced to submit to a blood test, it may be helpful to discuss your case with a Texas DWI lawyer. The laws involving DWI cases can be complex. The guidance of a lawyer may prove helpful, depending on your specific circumstances.
Our legal professionals may be able to provide guidance regarding your case. With over 30 years of legal experience—which includes time as a prosecutor as well as a state district judge—our lead attorney Randall B. Isenberg understands the many intricacies related to DWI laws.
To learn more about how a lawyer from our team may be able to help you if you are facing a DWI intoxication manslaughter case, contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at (214) 696-9253. We can speak with you about how police can draw blood without consent.