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FACT CHECK: “No Refusal” DWI initiative

Posted: 5:04 PM, Dec 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-19 18:55:55-05

Keeping streets clear of drunk drivers is the goal of an initiative that kicks off this weekend — the annual “No Refusal” DWI initiative.

That means drivers pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving who refuse a breathalyzer will have to undergo a mandatory blood test.

The “No Refusal” initiative is the focus of a KRIS 6 News FACT CHECK . Can law enforcement officers force you to submit a blood draw?

KRIS 6 checked with law enforcement and members of the legal profession. They provide the same answer. It is a FACT.

You can be forced to submit to a blood draw. If you refuse, you go to jail. But as a driver, you do have rights.

Local defense attorney, Mark Stolley, says drivers who are pulled over can refuse to answer questions, perform a sobriety test, or to have their blood drawn.

But remember, all an officer needs is probable cause to take you into custody.

So, if they suspect you are driving drunk, that is all they need to take you to the City Detention Center. When you’re there, officers will get a judge to sign a warrant which will legally require you to give them a blood sample.

“We still have to follow the law,” said Sgt. Nathan Brandley, media communications for DPS. “We still have to use the blood search warrant, present it to the judge, have them look it over, and make sure everything is in order. If it is, they sign it, allowing us then that opportunity to obtain the blood sample.”

If that blood draw shows you have an alcohol level in your blood that is over .08, you will be charged with driving while intoxicated. And if convicted, you could have your license suspended for over a year.

Keep in mind, if you agree to give a breath sample and/or blood draw at the scene and get convicted, your license will be suspended for just six months.

The “No Refusal” initiative runs from Dec. 23 to Dec. 25, and again from Dec. 30 to Jan. 1.