DWI

No Refusal Weekend: What Is It? What Are My Rights?

no refusal weekend

Think back for a moment, have you ever driven ‘buzzed,’ or even drunk? 

Years ago, getting pulled over for a suspected DUI was nothing more than a slap on the wrist. You might have denied the field sobriety test and the breathalyzer knowing that this technique could get the case thrown out. The officer probably wasn’t going to ask for blood, and it was unlikely they’d get a warrant for it. 

Times are changing! The state of Texas has enacted ‘no refusal weekends’ to help combat the number of people that deny sobriety tests.

What does a ‘no refusal weekend’ mean and what are your rights pertaining to it? We will explain below, keep reading for a deeper understanding! 

Saying ‘No’ to Sobriety Tests

Many people are under the assumption that by saying ‘no’ to a field sobriety test or breathalyzer, they will beat the DUI charge. While this may increase the odds of winning your case, it is not a 100% win, 100% of the time. 

When you choose to say no to a field sobriety test, an officer will ask you for a breathalyzer. If you decide against this breath test, there are penalties–like a suspended driver’s license for at least 180 of days

Though your license will be suspended, you and your attorney may have a more solid case to get the charge dropped.

What a ‘No Refusal Weekend’ Means

During most of the year, the above scenario may work in your favor. During a ‘no refusal weekend,’ the above still applies, but there is a caveat. 

Once you’ve refused the field sobriety check and the breathalyzer test, an officer will obtain an electronic warrant, complete with a judge’s signature. At this point, the officer can transport you to a hospital to have a phlebotomist draw your blood. 

Although you may think you’re being slick and wasting time so that your BAC drops, the electronic warrant will come through in a matter of minutes. Additionally, your BAC will probably not drop rapidly enough to make a difference, even with the extra time. 

Unfortunately, when you arrive at this point after refusing the field sobriety test and breathalyzer, there is not much you can do about a blood test. Yes, you can make it more difficult to draw blood, and you may figuratively or literally kick and scream, but in the end, an officer is authorized to use force.

What the Law Means for You

When you choose to drive in Texas, you are operating under ‘implied consent.’ This means that by being a licensed driver on a public roadway, you have already given consent to alcohol testing. 

If you have not consumed any alcoholic beverages, it is wise to choose to perform the field sobriety test or take the breathalyzer. However, if you’ve made a mistake and have been drinking and driving during a ‘no refusal weekend,’ weigh your options carefully–as refusals of any kind will have legal consequences. 

Finally, getting charged with a DUI does not mean you have been convicted. You are innocent until proven otherwise and will need to fight for your clean criminal and driving record.

Should you or a loved one need help with a DUI case in Texas, contact us for a free consultation.