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Eat Your Heart Out, Joe Friday

by Published on

Texas cops are out for blood, literally.

The Houston Chronicle reports that police in Texas will soon be allowed to forcibly obtain blood samples — without judicial review — from some drunk-driving suspects.

For the past year, police in several Texas cities have been experimenting with forcing DWI suspects to give blood samples, mostly on major holidays such as July 4th. These programs have received too-little media attention.

A new law — passed by the Legislature this spring — would allow police to obtain blood samples from suspects, without a judge’s consent, in certain scenarios, including “repeat offender, a passenger died or in which a child under 15 was a passenger in the vehicle,” the Chronicle reports.

I’m not a constitutional scholar — and we all can agree that Texas needs to reduce drunk-driving fatalities (we’ve been No. 1 for years) — but forced blood draws seem to really stretch constitutional rights.

What do y’all think? Should the police be allowed to forcibly drag you from a traffic stop to submit a blood sample?

Dave Mann has been with the Observer since 2003. Before that, he worked as a reporter in Fort Worth and Washington, D.C. He was born and raised in Philadelphia. He thinks border collies are the world’s greatest dogs, and believes in the nourishing powers of pickup basketball.