No Refusal Initiative & Houston DWIs
Posted on Jan 13, 2014 10:00am UTC
Motorists who are suspected of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) are subjected to the implied consent law – the consent all drivers give to provide a breath or blood sample when asked by a law enforcement officer. Individuals who refuse to provide a sample are subjected to automatic driver’s license suspensions and the refusal is taken into account during criminal proceedings. As part of Harris County’s DWI No Refusal laws, however, refusals may not be as cut and dry and most may think.
Under the No Refusal Initiative, drivers who refuse to take chemical tests, including breath and blood tests, may have little say about refusing anything. As part of the initiative, search warrants can be issued to draw blood from any suspected impaired driver who refuses chemical tests. In most jursidictions, court-ordered blood tests are typically only used in cases involving accidents or injuries.
In April of last year, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office became one of the first counties to enforce No Refusal court-ordered blood draws every day. Although some controversy has followed, including complaints about invasion of privacy, there are many advocates. Because the dangers of drunk and impaired driving are so irrefutable, many support No Refusal laws and believe that they send a clear message to drunk drivers and the community at large.
No Refusal has been implemented in other Texas jurisdictions and in other states throughout the nation, often during times of increased DWI enforcement and holidays with high rates of alcohol-related accidents. In fact, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson announced last December that her office would have more prosecutors on duty specifically to assist police with No Refusal DWI laws and issuing of search warrants during the Christmas and New Year’s Holidays. No Refusal was implemented in Montgomery County during New Year’s. No Refusal is set to continue every weekend in Montgomery County.
At Billy Skinner & Associates, our Houston criminal defense lawyers are passionate about protecting the rights of local residents facing criminal accusations, including those charged with DWI or DUI. If you or your loved one was recently charged with driving while intoxicated – whether you were subjected to the No Refusal law or not – you need proven legal advocates on your side.
For more information about your charges and how our firm can help, call (713) 600-7777 for a FREE consultation.