HBA-RBT H.B. 758 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 758 By: Dutton Criminal Jurisprudence 4/21/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, it is a defense to a charge of public intoxication if alcohol or another substance is administered for therapeutic purposes and as a part of a person's medical treatment by a licensed physician. H.B. 758 provides for a timely evaluation of a person's blood alcohol content by an independent professional of the person's choice. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Department of Public Safety in SECTION 1 (Section 49.02, Penal Code) of this bill. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Section 49.02, Penal Code, by adding Subsections (f), (g), (h), and (i), as follows: (f) Entitles a person arrested for public intoxication to have a blood specimen drawn by one of the specified health care professionals of the person's choice and have an analysis done or, on payment of the required fee, provide a breath specimen and have an analysis made of the person's breath. (g) Provides that a breath sample taken at the request of the person arrested must be taken and analyzed under the rules of the Department of Public Safety (department) by a person certified by the department to perform the analysis. (h) Provides that an analysis made under Subsection (f) is admissible at the trial of the offense to prove the extent the person was under the influence of alcohol or other substance at the time of the arrest. Provides that the refusal or inability of the arresting officer to comply with the person's request is admissible at trial. (i) Requires the department, by rule, to set the fee for an analysis of a person's breath. Prohibits the fee from exceeding the average cost to the department of analyzing a breath specimen in the previous fiscal year under Chapter 724, Transportation Code (Implied Consent). SECTION 2. Emergency clause. Effective date: upon passage.