Football fans in Texas and across the country recently enjoyed another Super Bowl Sunday. For many, the festivities included drinking. Yet when the game is over, some fans may be confronted with the temptation to drive while intoxicated, especially when the distance to home is short.
In an effort to encourage extra vigilance, at least one Texas county has added Super Bowl Sunday to its list of “no refusal” DWI days. The list currently includes the holidays of Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, Memorial Day, July Fourth and Labor Day. Notably, the county also received a $300,000 state grant to fund enforcement of its expanded “no refusal” program.
According to the district attorney’s office, drivers arrested on suspicion of DWI who decline to take a breath test may be required to hold out an arm for a blood draw. Authorities are reportedly ready to expedite warrant requests for the blood testing.
Texas readers may be wondering about their legal rights on such designated “no refusal” days. In truth, an experienced Texas DWI attorney would likely say that there isn’t much difference.
Police officers typically have the ability to request a warrant for blood testing of a DWI suspect on any day, although there’s no guarantee that a judge will agree that their warrant request is supported by probable cause.
Furthermore, Texas’ implied consent law is also in effect year-round. Under that law, a driver may also refuse consent to a breath or blood DWI test, but usually at the price of a suspended license for at least 180 days.
Perhaps the real point behind “no refusal” days is deterrence: authorities are informing drivers that their enforcement efforts will be vigilant. Hopefully, that extra bit of campaigning pays off, with football fans lining up a designated driver on the big day.
Source: Star-Telegram, “Tarrant law enforcement will crack down on DWI on Super Bowl Sunday,” Alex Branch, Feb. 1, 2013