No Refusal Weekends

What does “No Refusal” mean?Police officer writing a ticket in front of a motorcycle and a car, with overlay text reading "Excellent Representation, Driving Record Protected, Case J. Darwin, INC."

Texas is a state that implements “no refusal” weekends, in which police officers are able to get warrants for chemical tests faster. It does not mean that it is illegal to refuse a breathalyzer on those weekends.


What happens if I refuse on a no refusal weekend?

You will still probably be required to submit to a chemical test, but it will likely take longer than simply submitting. The police officer in charge of your case will be required to get a warrant from a judge. This will take less time than if you had refused on a regular day, but it will still delay the test. If you refuse the test after a judge has issued a warrant, the police will charge you with both the refusal as well as the DWI.


Can I plan for a no refusal weekend? 

The best way to plan for a no refusal weekend is to find a designated driver, take a ride-share service, or not drink if you plan on driving during that weekend. That will greatly reduce the risk of the police pulling you over or charging you with a DWI.

No refusal weekends often fall on holidays or events where people are likely to be drinking. Think of any weekend where you might regularly go to a friend’s house to drink or have people over to drink. Common examples are Memorial Day, New Year’s Eve, the Superbowl, and the Fourth of July. 


How do no refusal weekends happen?

No refusal weekends require increased staff and availability in courthouses and police stations. This means increased funding and resources are made available by the county on those weekends, which is why they can’t happen every weekend. They are a collaboration of police, judges, and medical staff.


Are penalties higher on no refusal weekends?

No. The penalties are the same if you get arrested or charged with a DWI, and they’re the same if you get charged with refusing a warrant.


Is the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit lower on no refusal weekends?

No. The BAC limit in Texas is 0.08, which is lower than many other states whose BAC limits are 0.10. 


What should I do if I’m pulled over for a DWI on a no refusal weekend?

Time is everything, which is why you should politely refuse until the police officer obtains a warrant. This will give you more time to get a handle on your situation. Once the officer obtains a warrant, you need to submit to the test.


Can I get legal support if I’m arrested on a no refusal weekend?

Yes. Everyone’s entitled to legal representation, and we are happy to represent you. Contact the Law Office of Case J. Darwin for a consultation and to discuss your options in your case.

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