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 The Misleading Case of DWI No Refusal Weekends


DWI No Refusal

If you have driven on the interstates of Fort Worth or Dallas over the past week or so, you have probably noticed the road signs stating that July 4th weekend is a “DWI no refusal weekend”. You may have asked yourself, “what does this mean? Can the police just force me to give them my blood?” The answer to the second part of that questions is NO!

DWI No Refusal Weekends in Arlington and Surrounding Cities

Typically, when a police officer stops a driver he or she suspects of driving while intoxicated, the officer will have observed the driver’s driving before ordering the driver to pull over. The officer will then observe the driver’s behavior during the stop. The police officer is looking for signs that the driver has been drinking, such as failing to stay in their driving lane, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, or the smell of alcohol emanating from the driver. Upon seeing those indications that someone has been drinking, the police officer will typically ask the driver if he or she would take a blood alcohol test, the most common test being the breath test. When you are issued a driver’s license, you implicitly consent to allowing the police to take a breath sample when suspected of driving while intoxicated. If you refuse to take a breath test, your license can be suspended, but the police must then obtain a search warrant in order to draw your blood for a blood alcohol test.

During a ” DWI no refusal weekend” in Tarrant County, the police, district attorneys and courts have basically set up an assembly line in order to quickly obtain warrants for the police officers if a driver refuses to take a breath test. The courts will have a judge “on call” to be able to issue the warrant for the blood draw very quickly. The police only need to have reasonable suspicion to pull a driver over for a traffic stop, and probable cause that the person was driving while intoxicated to obtain a warrant to draw blood. Once the police officer obtains the warrant, the officer will take the driver to a facility to have the blood drawn, and if the driver’s blood alcohol content is over .08, the person will be charged with driving while intoxicated.

Should you consent to a blood or breath test in Tarrant County if the police are just going to draw your blood anyway?

“No refusal” is a misleading moniker that is intended to make drivers think that they do not have a choice about whether to consent to a blood alcohol test or not. YOU DO HAVE A CHOICE. You should never consent to a blood or breath test. The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution gives you the right to remain silent and not provide evidence to the police. If you refuse to take a blood or breath test, the police are required to obtain a search warrant from a judge in order to take your blood. The police officer will have to sign an affidavit swearing under oath that there was probable cause. If you refuse a breath or blood test, and the police officer cannot establish that there is probable cause to draw your blood, the court will not issue a search warrant. The police cannot forcibly draw your blood without a search warrant. You should never offer evidence against yourself in any criminal matter. Make the police do their job and gather the evidence without your help. By making the Tarrant County police officer get a search warrant to draw your blood, you are ensuring that the process operates properly, and you are giving your defense attorney more avenues for your defense should you be charged with driving while intoxicated.

DWI no refusal weekends are really nothing more than a warning to drivers that the police are going to be on the lookout for people who they believe are driving while intoxicated. The main aim of the policy is to keep people from driving if they are intoxicated. You always have the option of refusing to give evidence against yourself.

How Can Criminal Defense Attorneys with the Brandy Austin Law Firm Help You?

If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated, call the Brandy Austin Law Firm and let us fight these charges for you. Just because the police drew your blood, doesn’t mean you are automatically guilty. The criminal defense attorneys with the Brandy Austin Law Firm will perform an extensive investigation to determine if the blood test was legal and followed all of the accepted protocols, and whether the results of the blood test are accurate. We will use all of our knowledge and experience to protect your rights and help you get the best possible outcome for your case. If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated after a DWI no refusal weekend, call the Brandy Austin Law Firm at 817-841-9906 to speak with a criminal defense attorney about your situation.