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What Does No Refusal Mean in Texas?

No Refusal & DWI

As you gear up for the rapidly approaching holiday season, keep in mind that Texas’ “no refusal” program is in effect for Fort Worth and Tarrant County during the week of Thanksgiving through January 2, 2018. If you are pulled over under the suspicion of driving while intoxicated, it is important to understand what no refusal means and your rights under the law.

Texas implied consent laws

Under implied consent laws in every state, motorists automatically give consent to alcohol testing when receiving their drivers’ license. If a driver is suspected of DWI, they are typically asked to submit to a breathalyzer test to determine their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Drivers with a BAC of 0.08% or more face DWI charges. Drivers who refuse blood alcohol testing in Texas automatically have their license suspended for 180 days.

Texas’ “no refusal” program

Texas’ “no refusal” program is a law enforcement policy that addresses driving while intoxicated (DWI). Under Texas’ “no refusal” program, if a motorist refuses to submit to blood alcohol testing (BAC), law enforcement officers can electronically request a search warrant for a BAC test. The ability to obtain an electronic warrant from a judge eliminates the usual time delays associated with a request for a search warrant; electronic warrants can be sent directly to law enforcement officers via computer or cell phone. This is particularly important in DWI cases: prior to advances in technology, during the time it took to obtain a search warrant, the suspect would begin sobering up at such a rate that, by the time the warrant was issued, the blood alcohol level may dip below the 0.08% threshold.

Can I refuse to submit to blood alcohol tests when there is a warrant?

In situations where a warrant has been issued, law enforcement officers in Texas are authorized to use force to obtain a blood sample. And while you may technically refuse a court-ordered BAC test, it results in serious consequences.

When will Texas’ “no refusal” program be in effect?

The Texas no refusal program will be in effect for Fort Worth and Tarrant County during the week of Thanksgiving through January 2, 2018.

Be smart. Stay safe. Know your rights.

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious crime. Driving while impaired puts the driver and those around them at risk. This holiday season, be safe on the roadways. If you plan on drinking at holiday celebrations, make alternative transportation arrangements or select a designated driver. Texas’ no refusal policy is in effect – understand the law and know your rights. If you are charged with DWI, the experienced Fort Worth criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Kyle Whitaker can help. Serving the Forth Worth and Tarrant County communities, we protect your rights and advocate on your behalf. Contact us at 817-332-7703 or online to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your situation.