The Facts On No Refusal Weekends

“No refusal weekends” is a program set up by law enforcement to assist in the prosecution of drunk drivers. Created around the year 2000 in order to eliminate refusing a breathalyzer as a method of avoiding a DUI, “no refusal weekends” give officers an expedited method of obtaining a warrant for a blood test.

States with “no refusal” programs have particular arrangements with judges and magistrates. These officials are on call, ready to sign warrants in real time granting officers the proper legal right to conduct a blood test in the field. In contrast, states without this program require a lengthy warrant process to conduct a legal blood test.

The effect of the “no refusal” program has been to reduce not only the number of breathalyzer refusals, but also the number of DUIs overall. Before the program was implemented, the average refusal rate was around nineteen percent. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rates in some Texas counties such as Montgomery approached fifty percent. This means that one in every two drivers suspected of driving drunk were refusing to be breath test, creating a huge impediment to officers. After the program was put in place, 12 DWI suspects refused to submit to a breath test and went through the warrant process. Blood tests showed all to be well above the statutory limit, with an average of .19 BAC. Additionally, the refusal rate dropped from the original fifty percent to a groundbreaking ten percent.

The results of this program have been substantial. The Benton Law Firm reports that this [No Refusal Weekends] has had a tremendous impact at curbing drunk driving accidents during major holiday weekends such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Memorial Day, and the Fourth of July.

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