Texans arrested for drunken driving should be prepared to give blood this holiday season, reports the Wall Street Journal. The state’s cities and counties are demanding that suspects who refuse to take breathalyzer tests give blood samples that measure the amount of alcohol in their systems.
The blood-test policy—dubbed “no refusal” because it prevents drivers from refusing to provide evidence of intoxication—has grown from a novel procedure used in a few places to an initiative used by police statewide, particularly during weekends and holidays when drunken driving is most common. The no-refusal initiative has caught on in other states, including Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, and Missouri. The attraction for law enforcement and prosecutors is that blood evidence is a powerful tool in front of juries. Armed with blood evidence of intoxication, prosecutors can win convictions in more than 90% of drunk-driving cases, said Houston police Capt. Carl Driskell. Defendants faced with blood evidence often admit guilt. “If it bleeds, it pleads,” said Fort Worth prosecutor Richard Alpert.