A recent article published online by AOL Autos took up the topic of “no refusal” DUI checkpoints, pointing out that law enforcement agencies in various states made use of them on Independence Day weekend to catch drunk drivers in the act. There is good reason for law enforcement to worry about intoxicated drivers on July 4th, of course.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a total of 637 people were killed in the United States between 2008 and 2012 in Fourth of July fatalities. Most recent data on these crashes indicates that about 44 percent of those fatalities were caused by drunk driving. DUI checkpoints are used in some states as a way to address the issue.
DUI checkpoints, as helpful as they may be targeting intoxicated drivers, are illegal in the state of Texas. AOL Autos is mistaken, therefore, in asserting that law enforcement in Texas are among those using DUI checkpoints to combat drunk driving over the holiday.
What officers in Texas did do over the holiday was run a so-called no refusal weekend. For these efforts, officers use search warrants to take blood samples from drivers suspected of drunk driving and who refuse to submit to a breath test. During these efforts, officers work with a judge who is on-call to issue warrants so that officers don’t have to wait for a court hearing to gather a sample.
Texans who have been charged with drunk driving as a result of an operation resembling a DUI checkpoint need to contact an experienced attorney to have their rights protected. In our next post, we’ll continue looking at this subject.
Source: AOL Autos, “‘No-Refusal’ DUI Checkpoints Deployed To Combat Holiday Drunk Driving,” July 2, 2014.Governors Highway Safety Association, “Sobriety Checkpoint Laws,” Accessed July 2014.