In Texas, many drivers may have encountered a DWI checkpoint at some point. These checkpoints give law enforcement permission to interview motorists to determine if they appear intoxicated.
Recently, Texas police officers have started implementing “No Refusal” DWI checkpoints during holidays. People are more likely to consume alcohol during these times, such as New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July.
Is It Legal to Set Up “No Refusal” Checkpoints?
Yes, they are. A driver who is stopped by law enforcement at a “No Refusal” checkpoint and is discovered to be intoxicated can be subject to arrest and a DWI charge.
However, the term “No Refusal” can be a somewhat misleading. When a motorist is suspected of driving while intoxicated, a police officer may request that the driver submits to a BAC test.
The driver has the following three options:
- Breathalyzer test
- Blood test
- Refuse to be tested
Based on Section 724.013 of the Texas Transportation Code, a motorist has the right to refuse the test and law enforcement does not have the right to force a driver to take a test. However, there is an exception to the rule. If a driver is arrested for a DWI and the police officer has a reasonable belief that the intoxicated motorist caused a collision and that the accident caused serious injury or death, then a BAC test is mandatory, despite a driver’s refusal.
Implied Consent Law
Texas, like all other states, has an “implied consent” law, meaning that drivers who refuse to be tested can automatically have their licenses suspended or revoked. Furthermore, law enforcement may detain a driver until they obtain a warrant and force the test to be taken.