No refusal weekends are in effect this July 4th all over Texas. Simply put, this means that you cannot refuse a sample of your breath or blood if you are suspected of of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI in Texas.) Not that long ago, a suspect could refuse to submit to a breath test when arrested for DWI. And that’s still the case in a lot of smaller jurisdictions where they don’t have the resources to have a judge on call in the wee hours. No Refusal Weekends are a way for some jurisdictions to intensify their DWI enforcement efforts during holidays or weekends where people are more likely to get behind the wheel after celebrating.
Unlike some smaller jurisdictions in Texas, No Refusal has been the policy every day of the week in Houston for a few years now. If you are pulled over within the Houston city limits (and most cities in Harris County) and you refuse to give a specimen of your breath, the arresting officer will obtain a warrant to draw your blood from a judge, even if it’s 3 in the morning. They will then take you to a hospital or sometimes have a nurse or phlebotomist draw your blood right there in the police station. And it truly is “no refusal”. If you resist, you can be restrained and your blood can be forcibly taken. (If you want to see something disturbing, look up forced blood draws on YouTube.)
Whether you’re in a jurisdiction that has no refusal weekends in effect or not, be smart. Before you begin celebrating this Independence Day, have a plan. Have a designated driver. Call Uber. Call AAA’s Tipsy Tow Service (1-800-AAA-HELP.) Crash at your friend’s house. However, if you do get pulled over remember that it’s not against the law to drink and drive. It’s illegal to have TOO MUCH to drink and drive. If you feel like you have been wrongly accused know your rights and call a Houston DWI lawyer.