In Texas, holiday weekends have been renamed “No Refusal Weekends”. This program has been designed in a cooperative effort between judges, prosecutors, and the police, usually observed and sometimes funded by MADD. All in an effort to convict you of a DWI (Texas) whether you deserve it or not. Local police departments and sheriff departments may announce a no refusal weekend, but you can count on all of the following as being designated a no refusal weekend:
Memorial Day Weekend,
Fourth of July Weekend,
Labor Day Weekend,
Halloween and Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas and New Years eve.
If you have only one or two drinks at a holiday party in Houston, Texas, for example, and you are stopped for an innocent traffic violation, then it is likely that you will be arrested and your blood will be forcibly taken from you.
If you do not fall within one of the statutorily created “NO REFUSAL” exceptions to reasonable searches and seizures guaranteed to you by the 4th Amendment, and which are set forth in Texas Transportation Code §724.012, then the police will seek a search warrant to take your blood.
When the police get the search warrant for your blood, and if you then do not cooperate in the taking of your blood, your blood will be forcibly taken from you by the police.
So what can you do after being arrested during a NO Refusal Weekend?
- Hire an experience criminal defense attorney IMMEDIATELY. Some of your rights are time sensitive. For example the request for a hearing to protect your driver’s license must be made within 15 days of your arrest.
- Be prepared to hire a toxicologist or blood expert to combat the blood test results and place questions in the juror’s mind about the reliability of the results.
- You will be going to trial. Unless you can accept the conditions and limitations probation will place upon you know that this case will not likely be dismissed or reduced and you will need to begin to prepare for trial with your attorney. This included interviewing all witnesses to your drinking that night and committing these witnesses to testify on your behalf in a jury trial.
Refusals and blood tests can be defeated in trial but obviously it is easier to fight a DWI with no breath or blood tests. In addition many jurors trust blood results more than the breath machines used throughout the state. Get a driver or friend who doesn’t drink on holiday weekends so that the price of one night of fun won’t haunt you for a lifetime.