No Refusal weekends are a new phenomenon coined by law enforcement to advertise that police agencies will ask for a search warrant to seize a blood sample from a driver, if you refuse to take the breath test. The state of Texas allows a driver to refuse a breath or blood test, unless a judge issues a search warrant.
The idea behind DWI No Refusal Weekends is this: law enforcement wants you to make it easy for them to get evidence to convict you if you have done something wrong. However, among the many problems with DWI testing administered by law enforcement, breath test evidence is the most unreliable scientific evidence because it is based upon the theory of getting air from the lungs, and testing it for alcohol saturation. In truth, that is not where breath alcohol comes from. Breath alcohol comes from the entire air system throughout your body–not just the deep lung area making the breath test fundamentally flawed and inaccurate.
The leading Houston DWI Attorneys at Trichter & LeGrand, P.C., have recommended tips for surviving Texas No Refusal weekends and how to host parties this Holiday season preventing DWI for you and your guests. The criminal defense firm specializes in Texas DWI defense has released its list of tips to keep guests safe during festivities and no refusal weekends.
“Freedom isn’t free and neither is safety,” J. Gary Trichter, founder and partner, Trichter & LeGrand, P.C. said. “If you’re hosting a holiday party and serving alcohol this Holiday season, we want everyone to have a good time and return home safely.”
So, here are a few tips that can make your celebration safer for your guests:
Avoiding DWI Before the party:
- Have your party on a Friday so folks can sleep in or give them the next day off.
- Encourage guests to designate a volunteer non-drinking driver if they are coming in groups.
- Pay the taxi fare or Uber for your guests to and from the party is a way of preventing DWI. To give an incentive not to drive, you could reimburse twice the amount of any taxi or Uber trip. So, if your fare was $20, the company may reimburse you $40 with a receipt.
- If you have nametags, print “Drink Responsibly” on them—it reminds people think, and it works!
- Have bands or bracelets that say “Drink Responsibly” made and distribute them to all guests.
- Medication may affect people differently—especially if they are consuming alcohol. Urge your guests, IF they’re on medication, beforehand to drink MORE responsibly, or refrain from drinking altogether — unless they are sure there will not be an adverse reaction.
- Don’t allow anyone to bring their own liquor to any party so that you have control over the amount – your guests drink.
Preventing DWI During the party:
- Serve food, water and soft drinks at least 30 minutes before the bar opens. This would help to absorb alcohol and prevent its concentration from getting higher than it would on an empty stomach.
- If guests are going to drive themselves home, set up station where they must check in their keys and pass a portable breath test in order to get them back. Have them abstain from drinking any alcohol at least 20-minutes prior to taking your test so that any residual alcohol in their mouth will be evaporated and hopefully not counted in the results. Remember, police breath tests are inaccurate, untrustworthy and passing your breath test will give them a margin of safety.
- Show a video loop on your TV showing officers giving DWI field sobriety tests.
- Set up a system where you distribute name badges with a limited number of matching drink chips or tickets to restrict the number of drinks your guests can have during the evening.
- Have each guest’s name printed on the tickets or chips so that folks can’t give drinks to each other.
- Instruct the bartenders to match the chips / tickets to the name on the badge.
- To prevent guests from drinking more than one drink per hour, put a time range on your drink chips or tickets where each one is good only during a certain time frame. So, for instance, if your ticket says “Good only from 8 p.m. until 8:59 p.m.,” that ticket can’t be used for a drink after 9 p.m.
- Don’t give any more than 4 tickets for any party lasting 4 hours or more.
- Display “Drink Safely” posters explaining the rules on how drink serving works at the party.
In short, the best way to avoid getting into trouble during Texas No Refusal Weekend, is not to drive if you’re going to drink. But, if you get into trouble, call the DWI attorneys at Trichter & LeGrand 24/7–we’re on call every weekend to help.