We know that most local governments are strapped for money these days as they look to fund all of the services they provide to residents and do their best to maintain quality of life for an ever growing and more diverse population. Officials in Harris County, home to Houston and the third most populous county in the United States, made have found a new way to ease at least a little of the budget crunch. Make those found guilty of DWI charges pay for their own blood tests.
In 2009, a law was passed that allowed search warrants for a blood test to be issued on those who refused to participate in a breath test. This has resulted in an exponential increase in the amount of testing that is being done at the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. This means more money is being spent on lab equipment, storage devices and labor costs. Why not make those who have been convicted of putting their fellow drivers in danger through their behavior choices pay for at least of the expenses they have cost the county?
As it stands now, Harris County prosecutors can recommend and judges can order that restitution be paid. This new initiative urges judge to require repayment and shows them that the legal ground to do so is in place. There also is the possibility that legislative action could make these tests a standard court cost. With the county testing blood in around 2000 DWI cases a year, this largely unexplored opportunity for revenue is likely to catch on.
If you have been the victim of another driver’s decision to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries and property damage, as well as time you missed from work and the lasting trauma that such an event often causes. The attorneys at Bertolino LLP are ready to be your advocates. Give us a call today and let’s discuss what we can do for you.