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Intoxication, Open Containers, and Texas Blood Search Warrants: What Are Your Rights?

Posted by Doug Murphy | Feb 26, 2021 | 0 Comments

If you've been involved in an accident in Texas and had an open container of alcohol in your vehicle, you probably realized the seriousness of the matter. Even if no one is hurt, you can face charges of driving with an open container and will undoubtedly face investigation for driving while intoxicated. But it's important to understand the rights you have when facing questioning from the police and whether police have the right to require you to take a blood-alcohol test.

A Bryan, Texas man recently faced this situation after flipping his truck on 29th Street. Police allegedly found the truck empty and abandoned but with alcohol in the vehicle. Police reported they found the man about a block away, where he claimed he had not been drinking. Police also reported that the man was unable to stand on his own and refused a blood alcohol test. After obtaining a warrant, police took him to the hospital, where several people had to hold him down to obtain blood for the BAC test. Police arrested the man for driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest or search.

While not every DWI arrest and blood test warrant will be as dramatic as the Bryan man noted above, it's still a big deal to you. So, it's important to know what will happen and where you can turn for help.

Apparent Intoxication

When stop you for suspicion of DWI, they will watch for signs of intoxication. Police need probable cause to conduct field sobriety tests, and they may base that on apparent drunkenness such as an alcohol smell on your breath, stumbling, slurred speech, and more.

After observing your behavior during your interactions with the police, an officer will give you one or more field sobriety tests. It's important to remember that both an officer's observations of your behavior and your performance on field sobriety tests are subjective. A skilled DWI attorney can challenge these results in court.

Warrant for Blood Test

After a field sobriety test, the police may ask you to submit to a blood alcohol test, either a breath or blood test. If you refuse to submit to a BAC test, the police can obtain a blood test warrant. Texas has long been a “no refusal” state, which means that by having a driver's license in the state, you give implied consent to blood alcohol testing. If you refuse a BAC test, the state can automatically suspend your license, and police can seek a warrant for a blood test if they believe they have probable cause to test you. Remember, however, that while blood tests are more accurate than breath tests, they aren't infallible. An experienced DWI attorney will know the best approach to take in this situation.

Open Containers in Texas

Driving with an open container of alcohol is also illegal in Texas. Even if you don't consume any alcohol, if the seal is open and you knowingly have the alcohol in the passenger area of your car, police can charge you. The police can charge any passengers in the car as well.

Hire an Experienced Texas DWI Attorney

If you're facing a DWI charge after a blood test warrant, you are still innocent until proven guilty. But you need an attorney who is an expert in DWI defense. Attorney Doug Murphy is one of only two attorneys in Texas Board Certified in both DWI defense and criminal law. He is Board Certified in DUI Defense by the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD), accredited by the American Bar Association and the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Best Lawyers in America also recently named Doug the “Lawyer of the Year” for 2021 for DWI defense. Find out why the Houston press calls Doug “the drinking man's best friend.” Call the Doug Murphy Law Firm at 713-229-8333 today to set up a consultation.

About the Author

Doug Murphy

Doug Murphy is one of only two Texas lawyers Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and also in DWI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense, accredited by the American Bar Association and the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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