The district attorney’s office in San Antonio / Bexar County has announced several new initiatives in prosecuting DWI charges.
First, anyone who is arrested on DWI charges and refuses to take a breath test will be required to take a blood test. It is unclear how this “No Refusal” policy will be implemented, who or how will take the person’s blood, and under what time frame and conditions. And what are the legal implications of removing a person’s blood against their will? Do they need a court order?
The second initiative should be much less controversial. The prosecutor’s will be willing to reduce DWI charges and allow 1st time Texas DWI offenders to plead to a lesser charge in exchange for a strictly controlled alcohol programs. The “Take Responsibility” program will include a required ignition interlock device installed in the defendant’s car.
Under current Texas law, DWI offenders can be required to have a ignition interlock device installed at a judge’s discretion, so no new law is required for this program.
This may be a good deal for some people facing drunk driving charges in Texas, depending on the charge reduction, and the potential impact a DWI conviction might have on a person’s life.