In Texas, law enforcement generally needs a warrant to draw blood in most situations, including after a car accident. The U.S. Supreme Court case Missouri v. McNeely established that the natural dissipation of alcohol in the bloodstream does not create a per se exigency that justifies a warrantless blood test in drunk-driving cases, and this ruling applies in Texas as well.
It's important to note that the laws in Texas and elsewhere regarding blood draws after a car accident can be complex, and the specific circumstances of each case can affect whether a warrant is required. If you have been involved in a car accident in Texas and had your blood drawn by law enforcement, it may be a good idea to consult with a lawyer who is familiar with Texas law to determine whether your rights have been violated.
In Texas, if you are taken to a hospital after a car wreck, hospital staff may draw your blood for medical purposes, such as to determine if you have any injuries or to perform other medical tests. However, law enforcement generally cannot use blood that was drawn by hospital staff for medical purposes as evidence in a criminal case without a valid search warrant or your consent.
If law enforcement wants to obtain a blood sample for use as evidence in a criminal case, they will generally need to obtain a warrant or your consent. If you are unable to provide consent due to being unconscious or otherwise incapacitated, law enforcement may be able to obtain a warrant based on probable cause to believe that you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
It's worth noting that the laws and procedures around blood draws can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the case. If you have been involved in a car wreck in Texas and are concerned about your rights, it may be a good idea to speak with a lawyer who is familiar with the laws in Texas.
At Lawhorn & Malouf, PLLC, our experienced attorneys have handled many criminal and personal injury cases involving intoxicated driving or driving under the influence and can guide you through the process quickly and thoroughly. Call 903-999-1234 to schedule a consultation about what is possible in your case.