No Refusal and What to Do

no refusal dwi

What does No Refusal Mean?

A common question people ask is, “what does no refusal mean?”  Many people are under the assumption that no refusal weekends mean that you are not allowed to refuse a breath or blood test if pulled over for DWI.  You should know that this assumption is not a fact.

“No Refusal” simply means that if a person accused of DWI chooses to refuse a breath or blood test, the arresting officer must obtain a search warrant in order to obtain a blood sample. You should know that no refusal is not a new law, and the law is true every other day of the year. Not just on no refusal weekends.

What is the difference on No Refusal Weekends?

While the law does not change by the day, the difference on no refusal weekends is that the process for law enforcement to obtain a warrant for a blood sample is faster.  This is because local agencies use grant funding during these weekends to increase resources to get blood sample warrants. Because of this, an officer requesting a blood sample during this time will likely be granted a warrant any time a person refuses a test.

What Should I do if Stopped on a No Refusal Weekend?

Your best course of action is to decline as politely as possible.  And by decline, we are referring to field sobriety tests or any evaluations involving your physical effects from alcohol consumption. There are potential inaccuracies from the machine 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. By refusing to test, your license will be suspended for at least of 180 days, however you won’t be punished for an offense just from refusing to submit. 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.

Can 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. If you refuse a test after a warrant has been issued, that could be considered a crime. Consequently, you may open yourself up to being charged for both this crime as well as for the original DWI charge.  For 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.

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Case J. Darwin is a criminal defense lawyer with offices in San Marcos and Seguin, TX. He was recently named a 2016 "Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in San Marcos." Above all, Case is dedicated to defending his clients rights within the criminal justice system.