This past year a number of states made pushes for “no refusal” DUI stops. But what is that? And why is it actually supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Usually, when a person is stopped on suspicion of DUI, an officer will administer a series of field sobriety tests (FSTs) followed by a breathalyzer test. The breathalyzer test is done to measure the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Drivers are allowed to refuse these tests and opt for the penalty for refusing to submit to the tests, on the grounds that an officer technically needs a warrant to perform these tests. The penalty for refusing a field or breathalyzer test is typically the automatic suspension of their driver’s license.
“No Refusal” Weekend
But during a “No Refusal” Weekend, a police officer will require drivers refusing the breathalyzer tests to submit to blood test, thus essentially, eliminating the option of refusing to have their BAC measured.
How is This Legal?
Judges will be on call to issue warrants – over the phone via smartphone or vi computer – when a person refuses. According to the NHTSA, the program will facilitate the availability of judges and magistrates to speedily sign warrants that allow for blood tests to be administered.
While a person is still able to refuse the blood draw, this will now be in violation of a warrant, and can thus lead to more serious criminal charges, which can include being help in contempt of court.
Working with a DUI Attorney
Being arrested with a DUI charge can have serious consequences including fines and potential jail time. If you have more questions about your DUI case, consult with a DUI attorney today.
Source: FindLaw Blotter, What Is a DUI ‘No Refusal’ Weekend?, August 21, 2014
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