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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:On July 26, 2004, Nancy N. Neesley was involved in a head-on automobile collision with Cynthia Perez. Deputy Leo Anders, an accident investigator with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department, testified that he spoke with a witness who claimed that Neesley veered into Perez’s lane. The witness told Anders that he was traveling northbound on Boudreaux Road directly in front of Perez’s vehicle when Neesley, who was traveling southbound, veered into the northbound lane. The witness said that, after he swerved to the right to avoid a collision with Neesley, Neesley continued driving partially in the northbound lane and that as the witness watched her in his rearview mirror, he saw her collide with Perez. When Anders spoke to Neesley, he detected a “moderate” odor of alcohol. Thinking that alcohol may have contributed to the accident, Anders sought to verify the witness’ claim that Neesley veered into oncoming traffic. Meanwhile, authorities transported Neesley to Hermann Hospital for treatment of her injuries resulting from the accident. After investigating the scene of the accident, Anders determined that the collision occurred one foot inside of Perez’s lane. At that point, Anders asked the chief paramedic about Perez’s medical condition. The paramedic replied that Perez was critically injured and still trapped behind the steering wheel of her vehicle. Rescue workers attempted to free Perez from the wreckage, but during the rescue attempt she went into cardiac arrest and died at the scene. Anders contacted Deputies Hernandez and Marines, told them that Neesley’s blood would have to be analyzed at the hospital to determine whether Neesley was intoxicated, and assigned them to handle the blood sampling. At the hospital, Hernandez spoke with Neesley and also detected an odor of alcohol. He then performed a field sobriety test, on the basis of which both he and Marines concluded that Neesley was probably intoxicated. Marines read Neesley the statutory warning form regarding breath and blood sampling, but Neesley refused to provide a sample. Marines filled out the mandatory blood draw form, and at 8:35 p.m., a registered nurse drew a blood sample from Neesley’s left arm. At the time that the blood was drawn, however, Neesley had an intravenous line of saline solution attached to her left wrist. This resulted in the contamination of the blood sample, and at 9:35 p.m., Marines had the nurse draw a second sample of blood. Neesley filed a motion to suppress this second sample, and the trial court granted that motion. The state appealed from that judgment. Texas Transportation Code �724.012(b) requires that a peace officer take a blood or breath specimen in cases where a person was killed or has suffered serious bodily injury as a result of a car accident. On appeal to the 1st Court of Appeals, the state argued, inter alia, that the statute should be construed to mean at least one “usable” breath or blood specimen, drawing additional blood from Neesley was merely an extension of the initial blood draw and no additional authorization was required for the additional draw. In response, the 1st Court determined that “a specimen,” as used in �724.012(b), means a single specimen, regardless of whether or not the specimen is usable. The 1st Court determined that the second blood draw was not a continuation of the initial blood draw, because the grounds justifying each drawing of blood were different. Consequently, the 1st Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court, holding that the evidence was properly excluded. The CCA granted the state’s petition for discretionary review. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. Interpreting the statute, the CCA found that “while Section 724.012(b) actually requires the taking of one specimen under the circumstances there enumerated, reading that provision in combination with Sections 724.011, 724.012(a), and, most importantly, 724.013, the statutory scheme as a whole clearly permits no more than the one specimen that is required when the suspect refuses to submit.” Accordingly, the CCA held that if the suspect refuses to submit to the taking of a specimen, “the peace officer shall be limited to taking only the one specimen.” But the CCA then added, “Nowhere in the statute is the word”specimen’ defined.” Since reasonably well-informed persons could interpret the word “specimen” in several different ways, the CCA held that the statute was ambiguous. Consequently, it looked to extratextual factors in order to arrive at a sensible interpretation. In the CCA’s analysis of how to interpret the term specimen as it was used in �724.012, the factors set out in the Code Construction Acts weighed in favor of an interpretation that the term specimen should be construed to mean a usable sample. The CCA justified this interpretation by stating: “In order to decrease the number of casualties caused by drunk drivers, it is necessary to first determine whether a driver is intoxicated. An unusable sample provides no useful information to assist in making this determination. It is implausible that the Legislature would have enacted a statute that requires a procedure as invasive as drawing a blood sample unless that procedure was intended to result in a usable sample.” Thus, the CCA held that in cases which satisfy the conditions for mandatory taking of a specimen under � 724.012(b), a peace officer is required to take one specimen of breath or blood and is permitted to take no more than one specimen. In these cases, “specimen” is to be construed to mean a usable sample. OPINION:Price, J., delivered the opinion of the court in which Meyers, Womack, Keasler, Holcomb and Cochran, JJ., joined. CONCURRENCE:Keller, P.J., filed a concurring opinion in which Hervey, J., joined. “[A] reading of the chapter indicates that it confers upon peace officers the authority to obtain”one or more’ specimens under at least some circumstances in which express consent is absent.” DISSENT:Johnson, J., filed a dissenting opinion. “One issue here is requiring that the specimen be”usable.’ The question is: usable by whom and for what purpose? . . . A second issue is that we are to use the plain language of the statute in making our rulings. . . . [The statute] is not ambiguous. . . . If it was an oversight or a mistake, the legislature is free to amend � 724.012(b).”

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