In Texas, you have a legal right to refuse to consent to a DWI test – a blood test or a breathalyzer test.
Many people think that if they refuse the blood alcohol or breathalyzer test when the officer asks them on the road, and they wait to get tested later, their blood alcohol level will be lower by then. They hope it's low enough to beat the DWIcharge.
(They don't realize that by refusing the test their license will automatically be suspended for 180 days if it's a first refusal, and for two years if they've refused previously.)
“No Refusal” Weekends
You may have seen signs on the roadway or heard it advertised on the radio: “No Refusal Weekend.”
In order to reduce drunk driving accidents during times when alcohol consumption tends to be high, Texas law enforcement has created “No Refusal” periods. You will see these announced for holidays – New Year's Eve, Labor Day, 4th of July, Memorial Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas – as well as around big events like football games and concerts.
During this “No Refusal” period, the highway patrol will be out in force with more officers ready to pull people over to request a blood alcohol test, and more nurses on hand to do immediate blood draws.
Can You Refuse to Submit to a Blood Alcohol Test During a “No Refusal” Period?
Yes, technically you can refuse the breathalyzer or blood draw even during a “No Refusal” weekend. But that doesn't mean you can't be compelled to submit. It just means that the officer will need to get a warrant from a judge which will order you to submit to the blood draw.
On “No Refusal” days, additional judges are on duty waiting to quickly review and approve requests for a search warrant. That's the legal document that allows the police to obtain evidence, in this case, evidence in your blood or breath.
As soon as the judge signs the warrant, the officer can escort you to the office for a blood draw and breathalyzer, or the procedures can be taken on the roadside.
With a warrant in the officer's hand, you must submit to the officer's request or be in violation of a court order. Don't make it harder on yourself, and harder for your lawyer to defend you in a DWI case.
It's true that evidence of a failed blood alcohol test is makes a DWI conviction much more likely, but there are instances where that evidence has been successfully refuted and there are reasons that a test result can be wrong.
There is another situation in which the evidence can result in a failure to convict and that is if the officer didn't have a warrant in hand, you refused the test but were tested anyway. Now your 4th Amendment rights have been violated and your case could get thrown out of court with the help of an experienced McKinney DWI lawyer. If you've been arrested for drunk driving, get immediate legal help. With so much at stake, it's worth talking to a DWI defense attorney. Call 972-546-2496 or contact DWI defense attorney Matthew Maddox to talk about your case.