No Refusal Policy For DUI Arrests In Houston
Written by Greg on August 14, 2013
Recently, authorities in Harris County have decided to take the step to initiate the “no refusal” policy full-time and not simply on weekends. This is a policy that has resulted in a record number of DWI arrests in the greater Houston area. Previously, the policy was only implemented on weekends and holidays which were most likely to involve drinking drivers.
Houston has carried its distinction of having the greatest number of fatal accidents involving alcohol of any major metropolitan area in the country. The no refusal policy allows officers to obtain warrants for blood-alcohol testing for those who may choose to deny a breath test.
Funding limitations had prevented the full implementation of the no refusal policy in the past. There is no doubt that the no refusal policy has been extremely effective in both the number of DWI arrests moreover convictions.
Prominent defense attorneys in the greater Houston area believe that the no refusal policy will result in a greater number of convictions for drunken driving. Certainly, that has been the experience for the weekends in which the policy was implemented in the past.
Police officers however, realize that while the policy will probably result in greater number of arrests and convictions it is also increasing the workload for the officers in that they will have to travel with the suspect to a local hospital for blood sample and then back to the DWI room.
Having this policy applicable year-round will affect drinking and driving in the greater Houston area. Many people have been able to get out of a DWI arrest by refusing to “blow” or give a blood sample. Now, with a warrant readily available, the sample will be taken whether the suspect consents or not.
Only time will tell how effective this year-round policy will be in stopping drunk driving accidents in Houston.