Austin DWI No Refusal is not news anymore. Last week, City of Austin officials announced they would enforce APD No Refusal policies each weekend through September. This sounds like an aggressive policy shift, but in reality, No Refusal policies have essentially become the way of normal business. In my experience, if stopped by an APD officer on the DWI Unit, No Refusal is the name of the game, not the exception. I routinely receive calls from prospective clients arrested in the middle of the week who were subject to a No Refusal type search warrant for their blood.
To summarize the policy, if you are pulled over, subsequently arrested for DWI, the arresting officer will request a sample of your blood or breath. You will be read a “Statutory Warning” and then asked to submit. This all occurs POST ARREST, only after you have been arrested. You do not have to give a specimen. No Refusal, a misnomer, means the officer will try to obtain a search warrant that permits him to forcibly draw blood. Warrants are not guaranteed. In the event a warrant is procured, you have the ability to challenge the officer’s “probable cause” in court. This controversial policy spread almost statewide beginning about 8-10 years ago. Travis County has magistrates on duty at the jail 24 hours a day, every day, all year round.
This is another reminder that you are always permitted to refuse breath or blood. No Refusal does not mean that your blood will be taken automatically. It is simply a policy that directs arresting officers to seek a search warrant if the arrestee refuses. In most cases, the officer may not take your blood without your consent or without a search warrant.
See my No Refusal blog for more info, and if you have any questions about these policies, or need to speak to an attorney, please contact me immediately.