With the Memorial Day weekend occurring just days ago, authorities throughout Missouri and the rest of the nation say they are encouraging drivers to stay safe during some of the most dangerous days on the American roads. In Texas, officers say they are ramping up efforts to prevent drunk driving by enforcing their “No Refusal” policy. That means that if a driver refuses to provide a breath sample during a DWI traffic stop, officers are able to get a warrant forcing the driver to comply. A blood test is also an option.
Many drivers may not know that their state has a no refusal policy. Although refusing a Breathalyzer at first may seem like a wise plan, officers are given far more resources to obtain samples from non-compliant drivers than they had in the past. With these processes becoming increasingly streamlined, it is important for drivers to know their rights during a traffic stop. Missouri drivers do not have to worry about no refusal laws, as our state allows alleged drunk drivers to avoid taking a Breathalyzer in exchange for submitting to a license suspension.
Some of the more egregious drunk driving stories to come out of Texas jurisdictions over the Memorial Day weekend include that of a man who was found sitting at a stop at a green light. That man was hunched over his steering wheel, sleeping. Officers determined that he was likely over the legal limit for driving. Another motorist plowed through some barricades in Austin; when that man was caught, he was found with soiled clothing, and he had thrown up on himself.
It is important to remember that refusing a Breathalyzer test does not mean that you will not face legal consequences. In fact, those who refuse such tests can still be convicted of DWI. Although breath test refusal can be useful in some cases, it is a strategy that should be discussed with a legal professional.
Source: KTBC Fox 7, “No Refusal: Austin DWI arrests include sleeping at red light and driving past barricades” No author given, May. 24, 2014