DUI Enforcement

Drunk Driving & DWI conviction

How It Will Affect You: What You Need To Know About Present-Day DUI Enforcement

More and more local and state law enforcement offices are endorsing “no-refusal” DUI enforcement guidelines. And, for that reason, motorists must understand how the law handles these people who refuse to undergo blood alcohol tests.

Drivers who are suspected of driving under the influence are generally asked to do the breathalyzer test to find out what their blood alcohol content is. Anything 0.08 percent or higher will lead to DUI charges. This often leads to guilty pleas. Refusal to do the test will generally result in the automatic suspension of the person’s driver’s license.

Some drivers do refuse to take the test, as it is hard to get a BAC reading from an uncooperative suspect. The goal, they believe in refusing to take the test, is to evade a severe DUI conviction. Prosecutors tend to drop charges in DUI cases that have no credible evidence of the person actually being under the influence.

The Increase Of These No-Refusal Policies

It’s quite possible to overcome these issues by getting a search warrant that would compel the DUI suspect to give a breath or blood test. However, it does come with some logistical hurdles. Before the technological advances, paper warrants would have to go to the judge’s office or home, which could take hours. During this time, a DUI suspect could sober up 0.01 percent BAC each hour.

Every state has implied consent laws on their books. This means an alleged drunk driver who refuses to take the BAC test could be punished for this action. Many states have learned, however, that the laws are insufficient to stop people from drinking and driving. The NHTSA conducted a study in 2003 that found these implied consent laws do not do anything to drastically reduce the number of refusals for the BAC. It also found that suspects who did avoid the testing often avoided more serious DUI punishments.

By the time an officer was able to get a warrant, forcing the BAC test, the alleged drunk driver sobered up or was under the 0.08 percent BAC legal threshold.

Today, however, officers in most jurisdictions can get in touch with the on-call judge by remote and get an electronic warrant that’s sent to their computers or smartphones, which solves the time-delay problems.

That is what’s known as no-refusal policies since refusal to take a court-ordered BAC test will often lead to extremely serious contempt of court charges. While it is still possible to refuse a BAC test with a no-refusal policy in place, you are not allowed to refuse the search warrant that’s been legally obtained. In Texas, police can use force to get their blood sample so long as they have a warrant. This means you are allowed to refuse but it’s becoming less and less of an option for people suspected of drinking and driving.

As of right now, there are 30 states that have a legal right in place to do these no-refusal plans. However, some of these states do not actively carry them out. And, several places will only do them during certain periods of time. Both local and state jurisdictions have well-known no-refusal weekends during the holidays and other times when alcohol is suspected of being consumed in copious amounts. The idea behind them is to discourage drivers who have been drinking from getting behind the wheel in the first place.

What Critics Say About No-Refusal Initiatives

The American Civil Liberties Union has been very outspoken regarding the no-refusal policies. It claims that these policies violate a driver’s right against “unfair search and seizure”. It also asserts that these initiatives raise questions about medical privacy whether any additional information is obtained from the blood that’s drawn.

So far, these challenges have failed in a court of law. Learn more about DUI enforcement policies in your town by getting in contact with a DUI attorney today.

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