No Refusal Weekend

The No Refusal Weekend Campaign is Misleading

This year began with the State of Texas advertising another “no refusal weekend” to combat citizenry suspected of driving while intoxicated. The term “no refusal weekend” being advertised by law enforcement in the media is extremely misleading, and it could very easily mislead someone to believe that they do not have the right to refuse, not only a breath test, but any type of DWI test. Because of this recent campaign, many people have unwillingly taken a DWI breath test and performed field sobriety tests that they may have otherwise refused. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution has not been repealed. While the authorities may be able to convince a judge to sign a search warrant that would entitle them to stick a needle in a person’s arm and draw a sample of blood, we still enjoy the right to refuse the breath test as well as the right to refuse to perform all of the field sobriety tests, including the horizontal gaze nystagmus test (HGN). This test is sometimes referred to by the public as the “pen test”. A trial court in Houston recently threw out the results of a breath test because it ruled that the police officer “psychologically coerced” the suspect to give that test. The officer, during a “no refusal weekend”, threatened to draw blood if the suspect refused to blow on their breath test machine. The court held that his actions were unconstitutional. Know your rights! Do not be misled by this campaign. There is no such event as a “no refusal weekend.”