More Forced Blood Draws Without a Warrant

According to KVUE News, if the Williamson County District Attorney gets his way, the circumstances under which law enforcement can force a DWI suspect to submit to a blood draw will be vastly increased.

If passed, Senate Bill 261 will allow officers to force blood draws on people who have previously been arrested (not necessarily convicted) of driving while intoxicated with child passenger, intoxication assault, and intoxication manslaughter as well as people with two previous arrests (again, convictions are not necessary) for DWI.

APD Starts Using Cite-and-Release Law

The Austin Police Department began using the new cite-and-release law this past Sunday, which allows law enforcement to issue tickets rather than automatically arrest people for certain jailable misdemeanor offenses, including theft, theft of service, criminal mischief, graffiti, driving with an invalid license and possession of marijuana. The Travis County Sheriff has been using the law for over a year with good results. To read more, see the Statesman, Austin Chronicle, and KVUE News coverage.

3/18/09 Update.  APD has declared it’s use of the new cite-and-release law a success, according to KVUE News.

Police Chief Wants a Police State

If Texas’ top police chiefs, including Austin Police Department’s Art Acevedo, get their way, then anybody arrested on mere suspicion of a criminal offense in Texas will be forced to give a DNA sample, which would be added to the state’s database. The person would not have to actually be charged with or convicted of the offense. To read more, see this Austin American-Statesman article.