An Overview of Texas “No Refusal” Laws

Thirty states in the U.S., including Texas, have enacted what are known as “no refusal” DUI enforcement laws in order to deter drivers from drinking and getting behind the wheel.  Under these aggressive enforcement measures, the consequences may be severe if you are pulled over under the suspicion of a DUI.  However, being familiar with Texas’ “no refusal” laws is the first step in protecting yourself from being pulled over for and ultimately convicted of a DUI in Texas.  Accordingly, the following are some facts of which you should be aware:

First, law enforcement personnel across the State of Texas are firmly demanding that drunk drivers take an on-site blood test if they refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test at a sobriety checkpoint.  Texas law enforcement has adopted this approach given that blood tests generally have a higher degree of accuracy than breath tests.  Ultimately, the results of these tests can serve as powerful weapons for prosecutors given that they lend evidentiary support for a DUI conviction.

Despite the fact that warrants are required in order to perform such invasive types of tests, police officers have been successfully getting around having to obtain them.  Specifically, technological advances in the criminal justice system have allowed for electronic warrants to be issued to police, whether to their cell phone or computer.  Moreover, judges may be present at DUI checkpoints or the closest police station in order to provide the warrants necessary to support the State during “no refusal” enforcement initiative periods.

Many protests have been raised by the American Civil Liberties Union, claiming that “no refusal” laws violate the rights of drivers against unconstitutional Fourth Amendment search and seizures.  Notwithstanding, Texas courts have consistently upheld the constitutionality of mandatory on-site blood tests.  As a result, you have no legal rights to refuse to submit to a blood test once a judicial warrant has been issued.  Texas police are even given the green light to use physical means to force people to undergo blood testing.

Overall, having an awareness of your rights when you are pulled over under the suspicion of a DUI is important no matter what the situation presents.   When “no refusal” DUI enforcement initiatives are in effect, typically during holidays and weekends when drunk driving is more prevalent, knowing your rights can make a big difference.

If you are facing DUI charges in Texas, it is crucial to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney that knows how to handle the complexities of these types of cases.  Attorney Jack Pettit will take the time to investigate your case and develop a strategic defense to fight for the dismissal of your charges.  For over thirty years, attorney Jack Pettit has successfully defended thousands of individuals dealing with all types of DUI related charges.

If you would like to speak to Mr. Pettit about your case, contact our firm today by calling 214-521-4567. We accept most major credit cards and provide bilingual services in Spanish.

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.