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San Antonio DWI No Refusal Weekends

Law enforcement officers generally obtain a breath specimen or blood draw in one of two ways in a San Antonio DWI case. The most common way that a blood alcohol concentration is taken is by the consent of the person arrested for DWI. This occurs after the arresting officer fully explains the statutory rights of the arrested person and requests that either a breath or blood specimen be provided. However, in certain circumstances, the laws of Texas require a mandatory blood draw. This situation arises when the arrested person has either injured someone in an accident or has previous DWI convictions. When the facts of the DWI case mandate a blood draw, the arresting officer does not need a search warrant to do so. Recently in Texas, certain counties have implemented “No Refusal Weekends” where the arresting officer is able to obtain a blood draw from a DWI suspect without either consent or statutory mandate.

Blood draws are obtained during “No Refusal Weekends” at the direction of a magistrate judge in the form of a search warrant. If a Texas DWI arrestee refuses to provide a breath or blood sample during these designated weekends, a magistrate judge is on call to review probable cause statements prepared by the arresting officer and issue a search warrants for the person’s blood. If the search warrant is issued, a blood draw will be administered. Police can obtain a blood sample by force when necessary.

Proponents of the “No Refusal Weekends” claim that deterrence is the main goal of the program. They believe that Texas DWI cases will be more difficult to win at trial if a blood specimen is provided. Hampered by the presence of a Blood Alcohol Concentration, DWI defendants will be more likely to enter guilty pleas rather than setting their case on a court’s trial docket. As a result, less state and county resources will be necessary to prosecute DWI cases, including San Antonio DWI’s.

Critics of this process have voiced strong opposition. It has been argued that magistrates “rubber stamp” search warrants after a cursory review of the probable cause statement submitted by the arresting officer. Others argue that the process doesn’t sit well in our system which concentrates on the Constitutional rights of the accused.

“No Refusal Weekends” have gained momentum across the State of Texas in recent years. An increasing number of counties are designating holiday weekends for this process. Some counties have implemented “No Refusal Weekends” year round. For example, Bexar County District Attorney Susan Reed announced on December 28, 2010 that Bexar County will implement the program every weekend in 2011 starting New Year’s Eve. Whether we like it or not, “No Refusal Weekends” seem to be here to stay.

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Kyle Simpson – San Antonio DWI Attorney – 310 South St. Mary’s – Thomas Suite 2400 – San Antonio, TX 78205
Your Texas DWI Website | Google Review of Your Texas DWI

Posted on July 3, 2013 in Articles

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