The holidays are right around the corner and as law enforcement and DWI lawyers in the state stress, this means a period of No Refusal weekends are about to begin in Texas.
Developed as an incentive to reduce the numbers of drivers under the influence of alcohol on the roads, No Refusal Weekends exist to help officers do their jobs better and faster in a way that defense attorneys find to be a good motivator to avoid DWIs.
Attorneys who defend clients accused of drunk driving find that many drivers do not actually understand what No Refusal means and or how it applies if they are stopped while driving under the influence.
With an understanding of No Refusal Weekends and implied consent, the hope is that drivers will be more careful and avoid driving after drinking during busier holiday season weekends.
What Is Implied Consent for Drivers?
Texas is one of many states that operates under the laws considered to be driver implied consent.
Implied consent law states that anyone who drives a vehicle in Texas is in fact giving permission or consent to blood testing if stopped for DWI and is willing to provide that sample.
According to DWI lawyers, the law also states that a driver can refuse blood testing unless the apprehending officer obtains a search warrant demanding that BAC testing be done.
Refusal to consent under those circumstances does carry with it an automatic loss of driving privileges for 180 days even if no warrant is obtained and no BAC test is performed.
Though the two options seem straightforward, many DWI defense lawyers find the law to be an unconstitutional violation of one’s right against unlawful search and seizure.
Anyone stopped who refuses a sobriety test should immediately contact a defense lawyer who handles drunk driving charges to discuss the implications of such a refusal and how to proceed.
What Is The Texas No Refusal Program?
Frequently misunderstood to mean those stopped may not refuse a sobriety test at all, the no refusal weekends in Texas actually applies to the warranting process.
It means that officers who stop drivers suspected of being under the influence can have expedited, electronic search warrants issued on the spot to require blood testing even if the driver has refused to be tested, all of which usually takes place before a driver can discuss it with a defense attorney who concentrates on handling drunk driving charges.
Search warrants for blood testing usually require that an officer must go to court and request one, then return to the scene to obtain a sample.
The program was started as an effort to reduce the number of people driving after drinking with the threat of being unable to avoid a BAC field test.
When Are No Refusal Weekends in Texas?
According to TexasDWI lawyers, the Texas No Refusal Weekends recognized by law enforcement take place over weekends found to have increased driver traffic and an increased incidence of driving while intoxicated due to holiday drinking:
- Memorial Day
- 4th of July
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas and New Years
- Other high-profile weekends like Super Bowl Sunday
During these weekends, anyone pulled over and suspected of DWI may be required to give a blood sample for BAC testing even if they refuse, since the processing of search warrants for DWI cases has been sped up to allow for more immediate BAC and drug testing.
A sample may either be taken by a medical professional on-site or the officer may accompany the driver to a hospital to have the sample drawn.
Can No Refusal Weekends Affect You?
Drunk driving defense lawyers warn that on holiday weekends and other special times designated as No Refusal Weekends, it is harder to refuse BAC testing as arresting officers have the ability to obtain search warrants much faster than usual.
The logical suggestion from defense attorneys is to always avoid driving under the influence at any time to avoid having to face DWI charges.
If you are stopped for driving while intoxicated on a No Refusal Weekend, find an experienced DWI lawyer to right away who can ensure your Constitutional rights have been upheld.