Unhappy New Year and the No Refusal Weekend
You are at a party to celebrate the New Year. You have a few drinks. You drive home. As you are driving down the street you see flashing lights in the rearview mirror. Your heart races, your breathing becomes shallow, and your palms get clammy. It is a “No Refusal Weekend” and now you MUST give a sample of your blood or breathe to the officer if they ask for it.
That is not true. You always have the right to refuse to give a sample of your blood or breathe. A “No Refusal Weekend” means grant money is being used to put resources in place to make it easier for the officer to get the REQUIRED WARRANT for them to force you to give a sample of your blood or your breathe. The “No Refusal Weekend” is implemented on holiday weekends when drinking and driving tends to increase. It is a public policy to encourage all of us not to drink and drive.
THEY ASK FOR A SAMPLE
If you get stopped and the officer asks you for a sample of your blood or for you to blow into the machine, you have the right to consent or to refuse. Both answers come with consequences.
If you give a sample, it will be very difficult for your attorney to refute the results of the lab work. You have voluntarily given the State of Texas evidence to use against you in a criminal proceeding for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and in a civil proceeding to have your driver’s license suspended if the test results show you had a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. The driver’s license suspension will be for 90 days and happens regardless of the outcome of the criminal proceeding.
If you refuse, the police officer must complete an affidavit establishing probable cause which in turn will give a neutral magistrate the information for them to sign a search warrant. Then the officer will likely take you to a local hospital for them to draw some blood. The refusal will lead to an automatic 180 suspension of your driver’s license. But the trail of paper work gives your attorney more information to review to see if there is any reason to suppress the evidence being used against you in criminal proceedings.
If you have been drinking and you get pulled over for any reason, it is likely you will be asked to do the standard field sobriety tests. It is also likely you will be arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). You will need an attorney to help you fight the criminal charges and to help you get an occupational driver’s license. I can help you if you need a defense attorney.
Please, DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. Call a friend, have a designated driver, and get home safe.