Updated October 25, 2019
What Does “No Refusal” Mean? How Does it Affect Me?
We often get asked, “What does no refusal mean?” Many people are under the assumption that No Refusal Weekends mean that you are not allowed to refuse a blood alcohol content (BAC) test if pulled over for DWI. This is simply not the case. Texas law is quite detailed on processes during No Refusal Weekends, and you can still refuse.
“No Refusal” simply means that police officers have expedited access to search warrants. Arresting officers must obtain a warrant if a person accused of DUI/DWI chooses to refuse a breath or blood test. You should know that no refusal is not a new law, and the law is true every day of the year.
What is the Difference on No Refusal Weekends?
The difference with no refusal weekends is that law enforcement can obtain a warrant for a blood sample is faster. The law doesn’t change still allows you to refuse the breathalyzer. It will just take less time for the officer to be able to take a blood sample.
No Refusal Weekends are possible because of grant funding. Local governments fund agencies for increased resources to get blood sample warrants on those days. Because of this, judges will quickly grant an officer requesting a test during this time. No Refusal Weekends tend to fall on or around holidays or events where people are likely to be drinking.
What Should I Do if Stopped on a No Refusal Weekend?
Your best course of action is to decline as politely as possible. This means politely refusing to do any physical test that measures blood alcohol levels or physical impairment. No breathalyzer, no blood sample. There are potential inaccuracies from the machines used involved in testing, so by refusing, this requires more time for the arresting officer to get a warrant for the sample.
In Texas, it is not a separate offense for refusing to take these tests. If you are arrested and continue to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer or blood test, your license will be suspended for a minimum of 180 days. The courts won’t punish you for an offense just from refusing to submit, but it won’t look good for your case. If you do provide a blood sample and it shows a BAC over .08, your driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days. At this point, we can help you obtain an occupational license if needed after contesting a suspension at an ALR Hearing.
Should I Refuse a Blood Test After a Warrant is Issued?
No. While you can still refuse a BAC test when no-refusal policies are in effect, you cannot legally refuse a search warrant for a BAC test. Refusing a test after a warrant has been issued can be considered a crime. As a result, you could be charged with both refusal of a warrant as well as the original DWI. For more information and the best possible protection of your rights, we encourage you to contact us for legal assistance if you have experienced a charge for no refusal in San Marcos.