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New DWI Bill #1 – HB 509I

I noticed that in the past few days, a few new DWI bills have been proposed.  I found 5 imparticular that may be of consequence to the DWI defense world.

The first, proposed by Texas Rep Riddle.  From what I can see, it related to who can pull blood from a person suspeced of DWI.  It amends the transportation code, which already has a list of "approved" people to pull blood.  This bill seems to add in an EMT or paramedic.  EMT’s and paramedics were specifically excluded from those allowed to pull blood from suspects.

Below is the entire proposed text of the bill:

 

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT

relating to the persons authorized to draw a blood specimen from a vehicle operator to test for alcohol concentration or other intoxicating substances.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1.  Section 724.017, Transportation Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 724.017.  TAKING OF BLOOD SPECIMEN. (a) Only the following [a physician, qualified technician, chemist, registered professional nurse, or licensed vocational nurse] may take a blood specimen at the request or order of a peace officer under this chapter:

(1)  a physician;

(2)  a qualified technician;

(3)  a registered professional nurse;

(4)  a licensed vocational nurse; or

(5)  a licensed or certified emergency medical technician-intermediate or emergency medical technician-paramedic.

(b)  A [The] blood specimen must be taken according to recognized medical procedures [in a sanitary place].

[(b)]  The person who takes a [the] blood specimen under this chapter, or a [the] hospital where a [the] blood specimen is taken, is not liable for damages arising from the request or order of the peace officer to take the blood specimen as provided by this chapter if the blood specimen was taken according to recognized medical procedures. This subsection does not relieve a person from liability for negligence in the taking of a blood specimen.

[(c) In this section, "qualified technician" does not include emergency medical services personnel.]

SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2009.

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