The thought of an Austin police car lighting up behind you over the holidays can put a chill on daydreams you might have of a turkey dinner with family and friends. As many of our regular readers know, the holiday season is a time when Travis County and city law enforcement agencies hit the streets to enforce what they call "no refusal weekends."
The reality for us in Texas is that every day and every weekend is a time of no refusal. The difference between an ordinary day and a no refusal weekend is that law enforcement agencies have a streamlined process of obtaining blood search warrants after a motorist declines to take a breathalyzer test.
So the bottom line is that your rights are the same on ordinary days and no refusal weekends, but judges are standing by to quickly grant those warrants and nurses are standing by to draw blood from drivers who refuse breathalyzers.
Even if your blood is drawn on a no refusal weekend (or any other weekend), the evidence might not be admissible in court. You should speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about the circumstances of your arrest for drunk driving.
Discuss with your lawyer any of the following that are applicable in your case:
- Challenging probable cause
- The manner in which a field sobriety test was administered
- The results of blood and breath tests
Also discuss with your attorney possible penalties for a first DWI/DUI offense (including mandated installation of an ignition interlock device) and whether or not you will be able to keep your Texas driver's license.