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Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer Comments On Proposed Blood Testing In DWI Cases

Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer Comments On Proposed Blood Testing In DWI Cases











Austin, Texas (PRWEB) August 7, 2009

A recent legislative proposal to require mandatory blood samples from all motorists who refuse a roadside breath test may violate the civil liberties of Texas citizens, says an Austin criminal defense lawyer.

Sam Bassett, a partner with the Austin, TX law firm of Minton, Burton, Foster and Collins (MBFC), said collection of blood samples may be warranted in limited circumstances but should not become a routine practice in the typical stop where a breath test is refused.

“We believe the circumstances under which you would draw a blood sample should be extremely rare, perhaps in situations involving death or personal injury,” Bassett said. “The idea of taking blood for a refusal after a roadside breath test would appear to be a violation of constitutionally protected rights.”

The goal of DWI legislation is typically to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries from alcohol-related accidents. In 2007, 1,292 people were killed and nearly 30,000 people were injured in Texas drunk driving wrecks, the highest rate in the nation, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

As part of the crackdown on drunken driving, the Senate approved legislation that would let police conduct a breath test or collect a blood sample without an arrest warrant under certain circumstances to verify whether a driver was intoxicated — even if the driver objects.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said he wanted Austin officers to be taught how to draw blood during traffic stops.

“We disagree with blood testing being mandatory,” Bassett said.

Bassett said Texas motorists charged with a DWI should not be denied their constitutional rights.

“At MBFC, we take protecting your rights seriously,” Bassett said. “We understand how to defend drivers accused of drunk driving charges after a blood or breath test.”

About Minton, Burton, Foster and Collins

Since 1963, the Austin, TX law firm of Minton, Burton, Foster and Collins has helped thousands of Texas individuals and businesses. MBFC’s trial lawyers have years of experience in county, state and federal courtrooms, with successes in numerous high-profile civil and criminal cases, including DWI arrests. The firm can be reached at (512) 476-4873 or online for a free consultation. MBFC handles cases in Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, Caldwell, Burnet and Comal counties.

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