In Texas, law enforcement has increasingly enacted “no-refusal” DUI enforcement policies. Weekends and most commonly on holidays, police have set up DUI checkpoints in Brazoria County with no refusal signs. Police explain these checkpoints are designed to prevent accidents caused by drunk motorists, but many drivers are concerned if this practice is legal.
What Happens If I Refuse?
All the states have implied consent laws. Implied consent laws state that by driving you have agreed to submit to chemical tests for breath, blood or urine tests to determine alcohol or drug content. When a driver is stopped at a “No Refusal” checkpoint they have three options:
- Submit to a breath test
- Submit to a blood test
- Refuse to test
Texas penal code states that an individual has the right to refuse to take a test and a police officer does not have the right to force them to take the test. The exception to this rule is if the police officer who arrested a driver for DWI has reason to believe the intoxicated driver caused an accident that resulted in death or serious injury, the test can be mandatory even if the driver refuses.
At “No Refusal” checkpoints, you have the right to refuse to a BAC test but you cannot legally refuse to a search warrant for a BAC test. If a Texas police officer finds you suspect for DWI, they can electronically send a request for a warrant to a judge and that judge can electronically sign off on the warrant, even in the middle of the night. Once that warrant is provided to the police officer, they can use force to take a blood sample from a driver.
So while you can refuse to submit to a breath or blood test at a “No Refusal” checkpoint, expect that officer to go through the process of detaining you to obtain a search warrant that will require you to submit to a blood or breath test.
Contact a Brazoria County DWI Attorney
If you were recently arrested for a DWI at a “No Refusal” checkpoint, you should enlist a skilled Brazoria country DWI lawyer to help you build a strong defense. Our attorney can dispute the breathalyzer results if the machine was not calibrated or the drive was unable to give the sample properly. When your driving privileges and freedoms are at risk, you need a savvy attorney on your side.
Ready to build a better defense? –Call the Law Office of Steve O. Gonzalez today!