Holidays are a great time to relax and have fun. We spend time with our family and friends, have dinner and drinks, and celebrate. But after celebrating with loved ones, it can be a dangerous time on the roads. Not only does drinking and driving increase during the holidays, but police enforcement of traffic laws also increases in the Houston area. During holidays and large events, law enforcement agencies across the state roll out “no refusal” policies for DWI stops. Unfortunately, even people who aren't necessarily intoxicated can get caught up in overzealous enforcement.
Implied Consent to Testing
The law of the land in Texas used to be “implied consent.” That meant that by driving with a Texas license, you gave your automatic consent to BAC testing if the police stopped you on suspicion of DWI. But in 2014, the Texas Supreme Court ruled the implied consent rule was unconstitutional, violating the Fourth Amendment prohibition against “unreasonable search and seizure.” Now, if you refuse BAC testing during a DWI stop, the police may arrest you and take you to jail. But to test your blood, they'll need a warrant for a BAC test from the court. In the time it takes to get one, your BAC can change dramatically, making a reliable BAC level less likely.
No Refusal Weekends
Now, the state will often use “no refusal” events to expedite BAC testing at times of increased enforcement. A “no refusal” weekend usually happens around holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Independence Day, and Memorial Day. But any large event that's likely to have people reveling and then driving on Texas roads can trigger a heightened level of traffic enforcement.
During “no refusal” weekends and holidays, the police will have prosecutors, magistrates, and judges on standby for anyone who refuses BAC testing during a DWI stop. As a result, the police can get a warrant for a BAC blood test much faster, leading to more accurate results. If you still refuse after the police have a warrant, the police will arrest you, and you may face a longer driver’s license suspension than you otherwise would.
You Need an Expert in Texas DWI Defense
When you're facing a DWI from a holiday weekend, you need to be sure you don't get caught up in overzealous prosecution. It's important to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty, and an experienced DWI attorney can give you the best possible chance of success in court. Attorney Doug Murphy is a Texas DWI defense expert and an expert in criminal defense law. He is one of only two attorneys in the entire state of Texas who is Board Certified in both DWI Defense and Criminal Defense Law, making him an expert in these fields. Doug has the wide range of experience and litigation know-how to handle complex Texas DWI cases successfully.
U.S. News and World Report also named Doug to the list of Best Lawyers in America for DWI and Lawyer of the Year for DWI defense in Houston for 2021. He also serves as Dean of the National College for DUI Defense conducted at Harvard Law School, so you know you'll be in experienced hands. The attorneys at the Doug Murphy Law Firm have experience in both prosecution and defense, giving them the skill needed to guide your case to the best possible outcome. Contact the firm today online or call 713-229-8333 to schedule your consultation.