New Technology Will Change DWI Stops in Texas

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A new statewide system is set to role out for testing across Texas that will expedite the blood draw warrant process in DWI stops.

The system, called Law Enforcement Advanced DWI/DUI Reporting System (LEADRS), allows a law enforcement officer in the field to send a DWI blood search warrant directly to a judge to cut down on the time it takes from a traffic stop to get a blood draw.

According to Sgt. Ryan Doyle of the Leander Police Department, the typical DWI stop takes 4-6 hours from start to finish, but finding a judge to physically sign a warrant can take an hour or longer. Some counties do not have a magistrate judge at the judge 24 hours a day. In these counties, when a DWI suspect is arrested, the officer must deliver and release the suspect to the jail then meet a judge at their house or somewhere else to get a warrant signed. This must occur before a suspect can be taken to a hospital for a blood draw.

The new software allows the officer to instead stay at the scene of the stop, send the warrant to the judge electronically, and receive the signed warrant back through the software.

This also allows the prosecution to develop a more effective case for court as the blood draw is taken much closer to the time the suspect was driving.

Once the pilot program is complete, the technology will be available to all magistrates throughout Texas.

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