No Refusal Weekend – Understanding Your Rights
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No Refusal Weekend – Understanding Your Rights

Posted On - November 19th, 2012 | By Tim Clancy | Category - DWI

Dallas No Refusal Weekend DUI Attorneys

An increasing number of municipalities and counties now participate in what is known as the “No Refusal” program. Under the program, police officers are able to quickly obtain search warrants from on-call judges that allow officers to collect blood samples in cases where a suspected drunk driver refuses a breath test. Throughout Texas, cities and counties institute “No Refusal Weekends” – typically over holidays – to increase enforcement of Texas DUI laws. While the idea has its supporters, it’s prone to a number of problems.

Reasonable Suspicion and Probable Cause during No Refusal Weekends

As with any DUI arrest, the officer in the field acts as judge and jury: based on observable behavior, a determination is made whether or not the officer has reasonable suspicion to pull a driver over. Here, the only determinant of whether reasonable suspicion exists is the officer himself – you don’t have a say in what happens.

Next, he’ll administer a field sobriety test to establish probable cause in order to give you a breath test. While a number of departments train officers in how to administer a field sobriety test, there are so many variables that must be taken into account that it’s not uncommon for them to be given incorrectly. If given incorrectly, this could prejudice the outcome and convince the officer to ask you to provide a breath sample.

Refusing the Breath Test during Refusal Weekend

If in the eyes of the officer you fail to pass the field sobriety test, he can now ask you to take a breath test. If you refuse, he can contact an on-call judge and take a blood sample from you. Not only is this disturbingly at odds with the spirit of the Fourth Amendment, there’s no guarantee that the sample collected in the field isn’t tainted.

When taking blood samples, there are issues over whether or not there is too much salting out agent in the tube, whether the blood collected is primarily plasma or whole blood, whether or not the sample will be centrifuged, or whether the officer tainted the sample by using an alcohol wipe. In fact, in most states only a qualified medical professional can take blood samples.

Fighting DUI Arrests during No Refusal Weekends

If you’ve been arrested for DUI during a No Refusal Weekend, contact Dallas DUI defense attorneys Clancy & Clancy today. We understand the forensic and constitutional issues involved and are prepared to expose mistakes on the part of arresting officers. We’ll review any dashboard camera video of the field sobriety test and hold officers accountable for proving they had reasonable suspicion and probable cause. When the evidence contradicts what they claim, we demand the charges be dropped against you.

Call (214) 550-5771 today to learn how we can help you.

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