Texas DWI No Refusal Law

Attorney Marsh
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The holidays are approaching. This means more time getting together with friends and family. As with most social events, there are usually drinks being shared in the home, at bars/restaurants, or other event venues. If you choose to have too many drinks and get behind the wheel, you can be charged with DWI in Texas. Of all the crimes committed, DWI appears to affect the widest range of society – from Bill Gates to your next door neighbor.

During certain days (usually long weekends and/or holidays) many Texans are aware of “No-Refusal Weekend.” This is due to what is commonly referred to as Texas DWI No Refusal Law. Essentially, a no-refusal weekend is the same as any other weekend. Texas has an implied consent law. The implied consent law means that when you requested a driver’s license from the State, you consented to have your breath taken/blood drawn if an officer has probable cause to believe you were driving under the influence.

If you do not consent to provide a breath or blood sample, a police officer may request a search warrant to draw your blood. Normally this can be a somewhat drawn out process for police. HOWEVER, you have the constitutional right to refuse a breath or blood test. In response, under the Constitution, the police must request a warrant from a judge.

During a No-Refusal Weekend, the police generally have a mobile blood draw van nearby. This allows them to have quick access to the resources they need to request a search warrant. This van will likely have direct access to a fax machine which an officer can send their sworn statement to the judge as to why they believe probable cause exists to forceably draw your blood. The decision to issue the warrant is ultimately left up to the judge.

If you’re going on a No-Refusal Weekend, the best course is to have a designated driver, call a cab, friend or family member to pick you up and take you home. Don’t put yourself in the position where you even need to consider whether or not you want to provide a breath/blood sample. Although the Texas DWI No Refusal Law implies you cannot refuse, you still have your Constitutional right of refusal.

Keep in mind, if you do refuse, you may face license suspension after which you will have to Request an ALR Hearing and Prepare for an ALR Hearing.