January 23

DWI – NO REFUSAL WEEKENDS

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District Attorney Susan Reed has announced the implementation of “No Refusal” blood draw tests for every weekend in 2011.

No refusal weekends mean authorities are allowed to draw blood from DWI suspects from 6:00 pm. on Friday to 5:00 a.m on Monday, whether they agree or not. Suspects will be transported to a Bexar County magistrate’s office where a round-the-clock district attorney will be on hand to request a search warrant from an on-call judge. Once a search warrant is sworn out and issued, suspected motorists must submit to a mandatory blood draw by a registered nurse in accordance with the search warrant.

Even with the new no refusal policy, motorists still have rights if pulled over for suspected drunk driving on the weekend.

Probable cause must still exist for a law enforcement officer to arrest a person for driving while intoxicated. If the arresting officer doesn’t have enough evidence to arrest a citizen on the spot for driving while intoxicated, it may be difficult for them to swear out a valid search warrant that will hold up in court. Therefore, when you are pulled over after consuming alcohol, your actions may be your best defense if a search warrant is issued for drawing your blood against your will.

If stopped for DWI, BE POLITE AND COURTEOUS. Have your window down only a few inches with license, insurance, and registration ready for the officer. If you have been drinking at all, if an officer asks you to perform any field sobriety tests or take a breathalyzer test, politely refuse and immediately ask for an attorney; then REMAIN SILENT. My firm suggests you refuse field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests. Remember, the less you say and do, the less evidence police will have to claim you are intoxicated.

Drunk driving is a serious problem in San Antonio – there were over 5,000 DWI arrests made here in 2010. It is foolish and selfish to drive drunk. Please don’t do it. However, if you are arrested for DWI, hire a lawyer. Convictions for DWI can land you in jail, cost thousands of dollars and are permanent on your driving record, potentially impacting your life and career.

The Coquat Law Firm provides representation for those accused of DWI. For assistance call (210) 745-2825 or e-mail us at info@coquatlawfirm.com.


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