Memorial weekend means no “No Refusal” weekend in Texas
Memorial weekend means no “No Refusal” weekend in Texas. This post helps you know your rights for the upcoming “No Refusal” weekend and what to do if, despite your best efforts, you are pulled you over and you’ve had an adult beverage or two.
What Is A No Refusal Weekend?
A “No Refusal” weekend is a time period in which law enforcement and police officers can obtain warrants to quickly collect blood evidence from drivers suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). Statistics show that Texas has one of the highest death rates due to drunk driving of any state. Some holidays and other major events tend to led to more drunk drivers on the road. In an attempt deter drunk driving, Texas holds “No Refusal” weekends on Holiday weekends like St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
BEEN ARRESTED FOR A DRUNK DRIVING OFFENSE? CONTACT A DALLAS DWI LAWYER NOW TO DISCUSS YOUR LEGAL OPTIONS.
You’ve likely heard of “No Refusal” before. It is usually advertised through roadway signs, radio announcements, and news stories. These weekends are meant to make us think twice before driving while intoxicated during high-risk times and reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes during holidays and other high alcohol consumptions events.
How Do No Refusal Weekends Work?
The terminology of “No Refusal” Weekends is somewhat misleading. Many people assume that they cannot refuse an office’s request to submit to breath, blood or drug testing. This is not the case.
What No Refusal actually means is that means you’re your refusal won’t prevent the officer from obtaining a warrant to take a sample of your blood.
What Signs of Intoxication Do Officers Look For When You’re Driving?
Officers are looking for drivers who might be impaired or driving while intoxicated. You should also keep your distance from drivers who show one or more of the following signs of inebriation:
- Not using the turn signal;
- Using the wrong turn signal;
- Speeding or tailgating;
- Straddling two lanes;
- Swerving or drifting onto the shoulder; or
- Driving at night with the headlights turned off.
Avoid Driving at High-Risk Hours
Research cited by TIME shows that nearly 40 million people take road trips over Memorial Day weekend. You are likely to run into holiday traffic congestion on Friday and Monday, so if you are planning a road trip, try to start your travels a day early or late, and use the same strategy on your return trip.
Stay off the Road between Midnight and 3 a.m.
According to statistics drunk driving accidents are more likely to occur between midnight and 3 a.m. than during any other time interval. Try to avoid driving at those times.
Aren’t All Drivers Legally Required to Submit to Chemical Field Sobriety Tests?
Under Texas’s implied consent law, if you are stopped for driving while intoxicated, you should provide a breath or blood sample if asked. However, you may refuse. In fact, a lot of drivers refuse for many different reasons.
The most important reason why people refuse is because, prosecutors bear the burden to provide evidence of intoxication! You have NO such burden!! For this reason, law enforcement agents and prosecutors have focused on using search warrants to get chemical samples from those who refuse to voluntarily submit to testing
If you have refused, contact us today. We can help avoid the collateral consequences, such as administrative driver’s license suspension that are associated with refusing.
What Happens If I Refuse?
If you refuse to submit to field sobriety testing on a “No Refusal” weekend, the officer can speed up the process required to obtain a search warrant. Typically, when you are pulled over and the officer believes you’ve been drinking, the officer asks you to get out of the vehicle and to submit to several field sobriety tests as well as a breath or blood test.
You can either agree to the testing or say no:
- If you consent à the officer conducts the tests and takes the test sample.
- If you refuse à the officer proceeds to apply for a search warrant to obtain a blood sample.
The process of applying for and obtaining a warrant can take a while. So local law enforcement agencies and Mothers Against Drunk Drivers provide more resources to accelerate and process DWI offenses during holiday weekends by
- putting more officers on the road including special dedicated DWI and DUI task forces,
- keeping a magistrate readily available to review, sign and approve search warrants
- having more blood-draw nurses available to speed up tests
On a “No Refusal” weekend, all police officers are more likely to seek blood evidence if and when a driver refuses to submit to field testing. The goal is to both discourage drunk driving and to better handle the influx of drunk drivers who will be on the road during high-risk periods.
With a warrant, the test results are evidence usable for the DUI/DWI case in court.
Without consent or a warrant, conducting field sobriety, breath or blood testing vi0lates the Fourth Amendment. Contact us to help protect your rights if you or a loved one have been subject to such testing without consent or a warrant.
What’s the Point of the “No Refusal” Weekend in Dallas?
Law enforcement officers are on high alert looking specifically for drunk drivers.
However, the real purpose of “No Refusal” weekend is to deter those who’ve been drinking from getting behind the wheel. That’s because about every 20 minutes someone is hurt or killed in an accident involving alcohol in Texas.
Although you may know you have the right to decline the officer’s demand for chemical field tests but, according to Texas prosecutors, your refusal to provide a chemical sample after DWI arrest is a significant hurdle to convicting drunk drivers.
You need an experienced DWI lawyer if you exercised your rights and refused to submit to roadside or chemical testing. Call us today and discuss your legal options.
Legal Intoxication and Probable Cause
If the officer suspects you have been drinking, you will probably be asked to submit to roadside field sobriety testing. “No Refusal” weekend doesn’t mean you can’t say no to the officer’s request to perform roadside field sobriety tests.
Just realize that:
- As soon as the officer asks you where you have been and where you are going, that he or she is building a case against you. You can politely decline answering the questions.
- If you are asked to get out of the vehicle, the officer is often looking to make an arrest.
- If you submit to roadside field sobriety testing, the results of such are likely to prompt an arrest.
- If you’ve had an alcoholic beverage on a “No Refusal” weekend, it doesn’t mean you’re legally intoxicated. And it doesn’t mean that you can’t refuse. YOU CAN and perhaps you should.
- Texas law says it’s legal for the driver to get behind the wheel—so long as you’re not “intoxicated.”
When you are pulled over, the officer is seeking to develop “probable cause” to arrest you. The officer in the moment must decide if he or she believes you are intoxicated at or over a BAC of 0.08 or if you have lost the normal use of your mental or physical faculties due to the introduction of alcohol.
Should You Submit to Testing on a “No Refusal” Weekend?
No. If you refuse, the officer must request a search warrant to obtain the blood or breath test in Texas. You cannot be required to submit to field testing. Consider:
- If you consent, there’s little legal recourse because you agreed to submit to testing.
- If the officer must take the additional step to request the search warrant, the officer must submit affidavit stating probable cause existed.
- If the on-call magistrate agrees that the officer established probable cause, a warrant may be issued.
- If you refused and the officer can’t establish probable cause, no warrant will be issued. Officer cannot forcibly draw a blood sample.
- If your blood sample is drawn according to the warrant, your attorney can argue against and fight the affidavit submitted by the officer.
- If the magistrate improperly assigned probable cause to an affidavit lacking PC and signed the warrant, blood evidence might be excluded later by a judge.
How To Refuse?
Politely refuse the officer’s request for any field sobriety testing or alcohol evaluations. Stay calm and compliant if the officer obtains a warrant to draw blood.
Consequences of Refusing?
- If you refuse, your driver’s license may be suspended for 180 days or more.
- You will NOT be subject to any punishment because you (solely) refused to submit to the officer’s request.
- If you offer a blood or breath sample and the test shows a BAC level of 0.08 percent or higher, your driver’s license will be suspended at least 90 days up to two years.
- Contact an experienced DUI/DWI attorney as soon as possible. I will help you to fight the license suspension at an Administrative License Revocation Program (ALR) hearing. I can also help you get an Occupational License.
If you’re stopped, remember you can—and should—refuse to submit to any field test or blood or breath specimen.
If you or someone you know is facing a DUI/DWI charge in Texas, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Britt Redden, has the negotiation skills and experience you need now. Contact Redden Law to arrange an initial case evaluation FOR FREE.