Every year as the holiday season approaches, Texas law enforcement makes it their top priority to protect motorists from drink drivers with the introduction of no refusal weekends. No refusal weekends happen in Houston and the surrounding areas as a way to discourage drunk driving by increasing police presence and the presence of sobriety checkpoints in the area.
‘No refusal’ laws in Texas
Texas’ no refusal laws mean that you legally cannot refuse to be rested when pulled over on suspicion of a DWI. In situations when no refusal applies, the drivers are required to comply with it. However, the officer wants to test them. Under no refusal, the officer does not need a warrant to conduct the test.
What are no refusal weekends?
During no refusal weekends, you are subject to implied consent every time you are pulled over on suspicion of a DWI. Implied consent requires drives to submit to chemical testing of their blood alcohol content to test for substances int heir system. Under this law, law enforcement gets to decide which chemical testing method to use. Police can ask you to do a breathalyzer or a blood test. If you are asked to do a blood test, you can choose to do it on your own within 2 hours at a certified testing facility.
Under the implied consent laws, officers can only force you to submit to chemical drug testing if you have two DWI convictions, are in an accident resulting in injury or death, have a prior conviction with a child in the car, or have been convicted of intoxication assault.
Refusing to submit for a chemical test can result in some of the same punishments you would get for the DWI itself. You may have to pay substantial fines, lose your license or face possible jail time if you refuse, or if you are found to be driving under the influence. According to Texas state law, you don’t have the right to contact an attorney before being tested during non-refusal weekends.
Preparing for no refusal holidays
The weeks before a no-refusal weekend, the local counties will begin advertising no refusal dates on TV, radio, and social media. The intention is to dissuade as many people as possible from driving under the influence, especially during times when there is a high likelihood of drinking and driving.
In Texas, there are a handful of specific no refusal weekends that recur every year, including:
- Memorial Day
- Fourth of July
- Labor Day weekend
- Christmas Eve/Christmas Day
- New Years Eve/New Years Day
During the holiday season, between October and January, there may also be no refusal enforced at random throughout that time. There are also other events, including major sporting events or community events that may call for no refusal to be implemented.
If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence on a no refusal day, the first thing you should do after the arrest is to contact an attorney for help. Don’t rely on information relayed by the officers or on the internet when dealing with a difficult situation like a DWI. Even though you cannot refuse the chemical test, an attorney will know what to do to make sure your rights are protected and that your best interests are represented.
Contact Christopher T. Gore to find out how he can help you navigate the charges of a DWI and move forward with your life.