How Do No Refusal Weekends Work?

Texas DWI lawyer Stephen Hamilton explains how No Refusal Weekends work.

In recent years, Texas has been coming down hard on those suspected of driving while intoxicated. With about half of suspected drivers refusing field sobriety and Breathalyzer-type tests, police have sought search warrants to permit them to obtain a blood sample in order to determine a suspect’s blood alcohol content.

Blood tests are far more accurate, but they are also far more invasive than a breath test.

Instances where police seek search warrants signed by judges to obtain blood samples are markedly on the rise.

One of the more innovative approaches in Texas is the institution of No Refusal Weekends. Through the cooperation of police, prosecutors, and judges, and frequently funded by MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, national holiday weekends when the instances of DWI offenses have typically been noticeably higher have been dubbed No Refusal Weekends, meaning you can’t legally refuse to provide a sample.

During these weekends—Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s “weekends”—magistrates are available 24 hours a day to speedily sign search warrants permitting police to draw blood from suspects.

Must you consent to a blood draw?

Absolutely not. We strongly advise that you stay silent, refuse all tests, and make the arresting officer responsible to obtain enough evidence against you in order to secure a warrant.

It’s not your job to make their job easier! At the very least, it makes it a bit easier to challenge a warrant if you have refused any and all tests—breath, blood, and field sobriety tests.

There is also the possibility that an officer might make a mistake if hastily performing their duties and that is where a skilled DWI attorney can argue that the procedure was done improperly and possibly get the search warrant deemed defective and all related evidence tossed.