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Statewide "No Refusal" Weekend in Place for July Fourth

Photo by KUT News

Austin's "No Refusal" weekends are going statewide. Over the past two years, Austin has implemented "No Refusal" DWI enforcement around major holidays and events like Mardi Gras.

But for the first time ever, over 200 law enforcement agencies across the state will join the no-refusal enforcement effort this weekend.

"No refusal" means a driver cannot refuse a breathalyzer test if pulled over and accused of driving under the influence.

Under the state plan, if a driver does refuse to take the test, his or her license would be suspended for 6 months though it will not show up on a criminal record. Depending on the place of arrest, the driver could have to spend a night in jail for refusing the test. In Austin, police can get a warrant for a blood draw to test for inebriation if a driver refuses the breathalyzer.

The penalty for failing a breath test is a 90-day license suspension and a criminal record.  

Karen Amacker of the Texas Department of Transportation said a few areas have opted not to enforce the mandatory tests but for the most part police departments are participating because the roads can be so dangerous.

“July Fourth is nationally the number one holiday for alcohol related fatal crashes in the United States,” Amacker said.

In preparation for the No Refusal weekend, TxDot has been airing PSA's about drunk driving, mandatory submission to testing and the legal consequences of driving while legally impaired.

Kelsey Sheridan is a news intern at KUT. She currently studies religion and journalism at Northwestern University.
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