By Garth O'Brien | March 18, 2009
Filed Under DUI News
In most states a blood or breath test is required by any driver involved in an auto accident that results in a fatality or serious bodily injury. Both the at fault driver and victim driver are required to provide a blood sample. Neither driver has the right to refuse that test.Drivers arrested for drunk driving where there is no accident or no accident resulting in serious injury or death may refuse to submit to a breath or blood test. Texas is no different, but they are looking to curb the refusal right.
SB 261, sponsored by Senator Bob Deuell, will prevent an individual from refusing to submit to a breath or blood test under the following circumstances when arrested for drunk driving:
1. Being involved in an accident where one person is taken to the hospital or clinic for medical care;
2. There is a child present in the car;
3. The suspect has a prior felony DUI conviction; and
4. The suspect has two prior DUI convictions.
Refusal cases can be more difficult for the state to prosecute successfully, so this law should boost the government’s ability to secure a conviction. There might be uproar over such a bill, but no one has a right to drive. Being able to drive is merely a privilege regulated by the state.
Please keep in mind that a refusal in Washington State will result in significantly more harsh penalties than providing a breath or blood sample. The best advice is to request permission to speak with an attorney before taking the evidentiary breath test. Most counties throughout Washington State offer an on-call public defender to take such calls if your own private attorney is unavailable.