Should you blow and submit to a breathalyzer the next time you’re the focus of a Bryan-College Station DWI investigation? For years the standard operating procedure (SOP) for DWI suspects was “DON’T BLOW.” That is, once you were arrested for DWI/DUI in Brazos County the best defense was a good offense. Citizens accused were encouraged by DWI defense lawyers to refuse the breath test requested by the arresting officer. However, times have changed. Over the past several years the momentum of blood draw warrants (No Refusal Weekend) has changed this paradigm. The question is, should you blow?
Blood draws pursuant to a search warrant occur after a person is arrested for DWI and they refuse to give a sample of breath/blood voluntarily. Blood draw search warrant affidavits and forms are now readily available to the police in Bryan-College Station. Local judges are on call 24/7 to review affidavits and grant warrant requests when the facts support the officer’s request. I recently discussed the process with a local Brazos County judge. He shared that a FAX machine rests within arms-reach of his bed table. Police officers FAX paperwork to the judge during early morning hours after a suspect refuses to submit to a breath/blood test. If granted, the DWI suspect is transported to a local hospital, their blood is drawn, and then sent to DPS for analysis.
What’s the problem for citizens from whom blood was drawn after their DWI arrest? Simply, a blood-test is more difficult to defend than a breath-test. Breath samples analyzed by the Intoxilyzer 5000 can be attacked in many credible ways. We’ve discussed the problems with the Intoxilyzer on many occasions. However, blood testing does not suffer from the same array of problems. Experienced College Station DWI attorneys can attack the blood-test, but not nearly as easily.
Consequently, the “DON’T BLOW” paradigm has changed in Bryan-College Station. So, should you blow the next time you are stopped? The answer may be yes. But the best way to avoid the problem is avoid drinking-and-driving. Don’t place yourself in the predicament of deciding whether to submit to a chemical test for intoxication. But in a large college town students rarely take this issue into account before a night out on the town. So, if you drink-and-drive in Brazos County it may be time to start saying yes when asked to submit to a breath-test. The police will get a sample from you, one way or the other.
Stephen Gustitis is a criminal defense lawyer in Bryan-College Station. He is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is also a husband, father, and retired amateur bicycle racer.