The Beltz Law Firm
If you don’t already know, many police agencies in the DFW metroplex institute “No Refusal” policies for suspected DWI drivers around holiday weekends. According to our local DFW NBC station, more than 200 police agencies are enacting the policy this July 4, 2011 holiday weekend.
What does that mean for you? Well, if you do not drink any alcohol or drive a motor vehicle on a public road or operate a boat in a state run body of water, while intoxicated, it means almost nothing. However, if you are like most people and enjoy an adult beverage or two while celebrating our country’s holidays, it could mean going to jail unnecessarily.
As a reminder, “no refusal” policies give the police the capability of drawing your blood to determine the level of alcohol in your system if they suspect you are driving while intoxicated should you refuse to submit to a breath test designed for the same purpose. Jurisdictions usually have judges to sign warrants to draw your blood and nurses ready to stick a needle in you to get their evidence against you. They do not want you to refuse their demands and take every opportunity to prove their case against you.
We are often asked what is the best advice to we can give to someone during these “zero tolerance” weekends. Our best advice is always “DO NOT DRIVE WHILE INTOXICATED”. Get a cab, have a designated driver, or wait it out, but never get behind the wheel while intoxicated. If you drink, please be aware that is not against Texas law to drink and drive. The only rule is you must not be “intoxicated” while operating a motor vehicle.
Short of that our next best advice during these holiday weekends is if given the choice between submitting a breath sample and allowing a blood draw, our experience shows that submitting a breath sample is the best course of action. Of course we state this generally and do not believe or advocate it to be the only possible option because each case is different. With that being said, it is more likely that the results of breath sample can be erroneous than a sample of blood. There are technical reasons for this difference; but, the fact remains that a breath test is better if you have no choice in the matter.
Of course, we advocate safety for all persons on the road and expect others to follow the law just was we would. We just think it unfair when police agencies use these weekends for any nefarious reason other than the well being of the public. No going “out for blood”.
If you find yourself in that situation this weekend, please obey all police instructions and do what you think is in your best interest. Then, if you are arrested, please call us with your story and lets see what we can do to help you through it. Please have a safe and happy 4th of July!!!