Texas DWI Attorney Joseph LaBella Comments on “No Refusal” Checkpoints in Texas

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Texas DWI Defense Lawyer Joseph LaBella of Joseph J. LaBella & Associates weighs in on “No Refusal” DWI checkpoints in which officers use search warrants to take blood from suspected drunk drivers who refuse to take a breath test.

While we understand the importance of keeping the roads safe in Texas, police officers cannot simply ignore the U.S. Constitution and force drivers to take DWI field sobriety tests against their will.

Sobriety checkpoints in which drivers must take a breathalyzer test or another DWI test violate drivers’ Constitutional rights, according to experienced Texas drunk driving attorney Joseph LaBella of Joseph J. LaBella & Associates.

LaBella expressed his comments in response to a news article about “no-refusal DWI checkpoints” in Texas reported on by several news organizations, including NBC Dallas Fort Worth on July 1.

“While we understand the importance of keeping the roads safe in Texas, police officers cannot simply ignore the U.S. Constitution and force drivers to take DWI field sobriety tests against their will,” LaBella said today. “Drivers have rights and the police officers must respect them. And that includes respecting the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits law enforcement officials from conducting illegal searches and seizures.”

In an effort to keep intoxicated drivers off the road, many police departments around the country have started using “No-refusal DWI checkpoints” to arrest drunk drivers, according to AOL News on July 2.

At most sobriety check points, drivers can refuse to consent to a breathalyzer or other chemical test, such as blood or urine test, according to AOL News. If a driver refuses to take such a test, police must then obtain a search warrant to legally test the suspect. At a "no-refusal" checkpoint, police on the scene are issued a warrant by an on-call or "mobile" judge, and drivers are forced to have their blood taken and tested on the spot, AOL News reported.

While this might sound like a sensible solution to some people, the problem is every DWI test has its flaws, no matter how foolproof such tests might seem, according to Houston DWI lawyer Joseph LaBella of Joseph J. LaBella & Associates.

“Many people routinely test positive for driving while intoxicated in Texas even when they are not drunk,” LaBella said. “I know because my law office has worked with so many people wrongly charged with drunk driving in Texas. There has to be a balance between keeping drunk drivers off the road and respecting drivers’ Constitutional rights. Forcing drivers to take DWI tests is not the solution. That’s why we will continue to vigorously oppose such tests and fight for the rights of drivers forced to take such unconstitutional tests against their will.”

For more information about Texas’ DWI laws and the options available to drivers with a DWI charge in Texas, call (800) 395-5951 or complete the online contact form.

The NBCDFW article cited is “Tarrant County Police Set for 'No Refusal' Weekend.”

The AOL Autos article cited is “'No-Refusal' DUI Checkpoints Deployed To Combat Holiday Drunk Driving.”

About Joseph J. LaBella & Associates

Serving clients throughout Texas, DWI lawyer Joseph LaBella handles some of the most complicated drunk driving cases throughout the state. An experienced, knowledgeable Texas defense attorney, Joseph LaBella works with clients facing drunk driving related charges. Attorney LaBella has tried over 100 cases and has a 90 percent success rate. Along with DWI cases, attorney LaBella also handles probation violations, case dismissals, murder charges, sex crimes, drug crimes and hit and run charges.

Joseph LaBella & Associates
220 W Davis St
Conroe, TX 77301
(800) 395-5951

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Jacob M Del Hagen
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