No Refusal Holidays and Weekends 2020
- February 26, 2020
- The Law Office of Greg Tsioros
- Comments Off on No Refusal Holidays and Weekends 2020
We’ve all seen the YouTube videos of informed drivers who know their rights. When a driver understands and enforces their rights, the officer is often unable to find evidence or cause to arrest you.
While these videos are entertaining and informative, how many of us really know how to enforce our rights? On top of that, would you be able to remember everything while under the spotlight during a traffic stop?
Hundreds of Texans will get charged with a DUI this year, and many of them will be surprised when they come to find out that the specific day they get arrested will make a big difference in 2020. That’s because several counties in Texas will now be incorporating no refusal holidays into their law enforcement strategies.
What are no refusal holidays and weekends, and what do you need to know about them going into 2020? Get all the details below.
What are No Refusal Holidays and Weekends?
“Do you know why you were pulled over?” That’s a phrase you never want to hear when you’re sitting behind the driver’s seat in your car. Then, things get worse when the officer asks if you’ve had anything to drink. What do you do next?
If an officer suspects you’ve been drinking, then they may ask you to comply with a field sobriety test. You could be asked to take a breathalyzer. On a typical day in Texas, a refusal to submit to a breathalyzer usually means you’ll be taken to jail.
The police will need to get a warrant before making you submit to a blood-alcohol test. By the time the efforts go through the proper channels, your blood alcohol levels have already changed. On no refusal weekends, police work directly with local judges to get near-immediate warrants approved.
So, what does that mean for individuals driving on no refusal weekends? It means suspected drunk drivers who refuse a breathalyzer are taken immediately to a local hospital. There, they’ll be compelled by a warrant to submit to a blood-alcohol test.
Texas Police decided to start having no refusal weekends to discourage people from drinking and driving. The idea is that police have the ability to get proof of your impairment even if you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer.
No Refusal Holidays and Weekends In 2020
Texas police want to make these no refusal weekends a regular occurrence throughout 2020. They’re hoping to enforce no refusal weekends during major holidays, sporting events, and any other time that people are more likely to drink.
Nothing has been set in stone, but some dates are more likely candidates for no refusal weekends including St. Patrick’s Day, July 4th, Labor day weekend, Halloween and Christmas. There’s also a very good chance that officers will initiate preemptive no refusal weekends on weekends with big sporting events.
Consequences of Drinking and Driving on No Refusal Days in Texas
Getting charged with a DUI or DWI on a no refusal day in Texas is a serious matter. Here’s an overview of the potential consequences you could face if it’s your first time getting charged with this type of crime:
- Maximum of 180 days in jail
- Immediate suspension of your driver’s license (up to 90 days)
- Maximum fines of $2,000
Keep in mind that you’ll be facing even worse penalties if any of the following apply in your situation:
- You’ve already been charged with a DUI in the past
- You caused an accident while driving
- Individuals were injured due to your intoxication
- There was a minor in the vehicle with you
- You were driving commercially
- Police have evidence that you were extremely intoxicated
Here’s another important fact to keep in mind. Recently, a new DWI law was passed in Texas. This new law levies more serious consequences on people who are accused of “extreme” intoxication. Anyone with a BAC of .15 or more will fall under this umbrella.
On no refusal weekends, officers will be able to quickly transport suspects to hospitals. This swift action will allow police to get more accurate BAC results, which will likely mean that more individuals will get charged under the extreme DWI law.
Extreme DWIs are considered misdemeanors. You could face a maximum of a year in jail and $4,000 in fines for your first offense.
What Happens If I Refuse a Breathalyzer on a Typical Weekend?
As stated above, police who suspect you’ve been drinking may ask you to take a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer test. You have the right to refuse these tests, but your refusal won’t come without consequences.
Your license will immediately be suspended. You have a short window to fight that suspension in court by requesting a hearing.
Was your blood taken despite your refusal? Do you have reason to believe that a search warrant was never approved by a judge? If so, then you may be able to defend yourself against your DUI charge by arguing that your blood draw was unconstitutional. Reach out to our office now if you’ve found yourself in this situation.
Statistically, only about half of those charged with a DUI get convicted when police have failed to obtain either breathalyzer or blood alcohol level evidence. Without this crucial evidence, it’s usually the police officer’s word against your own.
Do You Need Legal Representation?
Whether you were accused of a DUI on a no refusal weekend or on a regular one, the legal consequences will be severe. If you get behind the wheel while intoxicated, then you’re risking imprisonment, significant financial loss, and the loss of your right to drive.
Depending on your circumstances, you may have submitted to a breathalyzer, field sobriety test, or a blood alcohol test. The results of this test will ultimately be used against you during court. You’ll need to consider these results when deciding whether to plead guilty or not guilty.
Regardless of how you choose to plead, having a criminal attorney by your side is invaluable. We’re prepared to help you achieve the best possible legal outcome. Reach out to our office now to get started.