For the first time in history, an entire state, Texas, will implement the “no-refusal” policy concerning suspicion of Driving/Boating While Intoxicated. This policy is regularly implemented at the city or county level during holiday weekends, but over the 2011 4th of July weekend, the entire state will implement this policy.
Texas DWI Law
In Texas, if you are suspected of being intoxicated while driving or boating, you can be asked to perform a Breathalyzer Test. If you register .08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) or higher, then you are presumptively impaired and arrested on Driving/Boating While Intoxicated.
You can refuse to submit to this test, but you will automatically lose your driver’s license for 180 days just for refusing. However, some people see it as a gamble to get out of a DWI/BWI conviction because there will be one less piece of evidence to use against them at trial.
In Texas, if you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test to determine your BAC the police must obtain a warrant to draw blood and have it analyzed to determine your BAC.
This weekend, starting at 6pm, Friday, July 1, and ending at 6am, Tuesday, July 5th, all Texas police departments will have a Judge or Magistrate on standby to expeditiously sign these warrants so that police can obtain a blood sample from anyone that refuses to submit to the breathalyzer test.
The most important thing to take from this is that drinking and driving/boating is stupid and will get someone else, or yourself, killed; so don’t do it.
If you choose to refuse a search, do so respectfully, but be ready for a needle stick in your arm. If you get arrested though, don’t expect to call a mulligan and just give up driving for 6 months because the police will be cracking down.
–Authored by Matthew L. Harris, Esq.,
Matthew Harris Law, PLLC – Criminal Law Division
1001 Main Street, Suite 200, Lubbock, Texas, 79401-3309
Tel: (806) 702-4852 | Fax: (800) 985-9479