Music, entertainment, nightlife, and the University of Texas are some of the reasons why people travel from all over the world to experience the vibrant culture and sporting events Austin has to offer. However, along with tailgating and the plethora of restaurants, breweries, and drinking establishments to choose from, there is also a higher risk of drivers getting behind the wheel after a drinking alcohol.
To keep citizens safe, Austin law enforcement partakes in No Refusal Weekends hoping to deter drinking and driving, specifically on busy holiday weekends. The public must be aware of the No Refusal Weekend program because their chances of being pulled over, arrested, and convicted for both driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) increase during this time.
Can I Refuse on No Refusal Weekends?
The phrase “No Refusal” may seem a bit deceitful as many drivers may think they don’t have the option to refuse a breath or blood test. However, this is far from the truth, as any citizen has the right to refuse under the law.
However, on No Refusal Weekends, law enforcement can obtain search warrants for blood samples from drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol. Prosecutors and judges are on standby ready to sign search warrants to legally obtain these samples. Police must apply for and have valid reason, and if the judge agrees, a search warrant will be granted.
The result is that even if you refuse, a warrant can be produced on the spot that requires you to submit to a blood test. As a result, your chances of being arrested for a DUI or DWI charge greatly increase during these time periods.
What Happens when I Get Pulled Over on a No Refusal Weekend?
On No Refusal Weekends, you have the right to refuse all of the following:
- Perform field sobriety tests
- Perform a breath test
- Perform a blood test
- Let the police search your car
- Discuss anything except for your drivers license, registration, and proof of insurance
Remember that you always have the option to invoke your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent (such as in response to answering questions about drinking and about where you have been or where you are going). Invoking this right is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself should a warrant be produced for a blood test.
No Refusal Weekends Seems to Be Working
From August 19 to September 5 of 2016, Austin law enforcement ran an extended No Refusal initiative from the hours of 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. During this time, KXAN reported that Austin police made 196 (DWI) arrests.
The Austin Police Department recently released the following arrest statistics for this extended No Refusal initiative:
- Consented blood tests resulted in twenty-nine arrests
- Consented breathalyzer tests resulted in fifty-six arrests
- Drivers who “refused” and were forced to have their blood drawn through a search warrant resulted in 111 arrests
- An additional twenty-two drivers were arrested outside of the No Refusal hours during this period, bringing the total to 218
As can be seen, drivers who have consumed alcohol are at much higher risk for being arrested on DWI and DUI charges during these weekends. Keep in mind, however, that just because you were arrested, it doesn’t mean the case against you is foolproof. For example, the arresting officer may have made a procedural error of some sort.
An Austin No Refusal Weekend Lawyer Can Help
DWI and DUI are both serious offenses. If you have been arrested during a No Refusal Weekend initiative, please call the DWI attorneys of Tillman Braniff. We will aggressively defend you and seek to reduce the consequences you are facing or try to have the charges against you dismissed.
Call 512-472-6565 to speak to a No Refusal Weekend lawyer committed to helping your case. Alternatively, you can also complete the form below and someone from our office will contact you at your convenience.