Texas Man Arrested for DWI With a Child in the Car

A Texas man was pulled over this past weekend for drunk driving. According to the state trooper, the man had been driving erratically down the highway when he was spotted.

After he was stopped, the man was then asked to take some field sobriety tests to test for impairment. He refused to take them as well as refused the officer's request to take a blood sample. The man had been driving with three children in his car when he was stopped.

The man was within his right to refuse the sobriety tests. But despite his refusal, the state trooper was still able to take his blood at a local hospital due to new Texas laws. In some situations, police officers can almost instantly obtain a warrant that forces a person to take a breathalyzer test or give a sample of their blood. Usually all that is needed is a police officer's belief that the person is intoxicated.

Here, the trooper described the man's demeanor as that of someone who was intoxicated: slurred speech and bloodshot eyes. The trooper also stated that the man smelled of alcohol. Under these factors, the trooper could have attempted to get a warrant. However, child passengers actually prevent a trooper from obtaining a search warrant; it is one of the exceptions.

Thus, the trooper in this specific instance was unable to get a warrant for the man's blood. But those new laws previously mentioned allow police to take individuals to hospitals and have their blood tested there.

As a result, the man is now charged with DWI with a child in the vehicle. He is currently in jail awaiting his court appearance. If he is convicted of this charge, the penalties could result in up to 2 years in prison and a high fine.

Source: ABC 9: East Texas online, "Trooper says Lufkin man drove drunk with 3 kids," Jeff Awtrey, 20 December 2010

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