The Dallas Morning News published an article yesterday stating that the Dallas Police Department would like to take a blood sample with every DWI arrest. To accomplish this, they would need to take every case before a magistrate to determine whether there is probable cause to issue a search warrant and allow the police to draw the blood.
There are many concerns about this approach above and beyond what the City thinks the drawbacks to be (i.e. money). The bottom line is that they presume everyone arrested is guilty. You can only rationalize their thought process by skipping whole-heartedly over the presumption of innocence:
(1) It’s okay to cause bodily injury as defined in the Texas Penal Code by sticking a needle in someone’s arm to solve a misdemeanor offense;
(2) Stating that it will equal more guilty pleas and more convictions (again, only true if everyone you arrest is guilty); and
(3) turning our independent judiciary into de facto law enforcement by having them rubber-stamp every arrest for a search warrant.
Dallas police may be very careful about what they wish for. Based on the article, it sounds like whether someone is taken for a blood test is a somewhat arbitrary decision by the officer right now. Are the officers only taking the people they are positive will fail a blood test? It wouldn’t be surprising to see a blanket policy result in far more tests results below or near 0.08 which could mean more trials. And to speak DPD’s language, more taxpayer waste.
Jeremy F. Rosenthal, Esq.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice, you should consult an attorney.