Harris County is taking advantage of its no-refusal program this Fourth of July weekend. This means if a police officer suspects someone is driving while intoxicated or boating while intoxicated and asks them to submit a breath test or blood test, they cannot refuse. The police will obtain a search warrant and require the suspect to provide a breath or blood sample.
This no-refusal policy does not apply to the field sobriety tests that officers perform at the scene or at the station. Field sobriety tests commonly consist of the horizontal gaze nystagmus, commonly referred to as the pen test, the walk and turn test, and the one leg stand. Officers ask motorists to perform tests while looking for “clues” to provide evidence showing the motorist is intoxicated. They do look for any signs showing the motorist may not be intoxicated. It is often difficult for a court to prove a driver was intoxicated when they have refused to perform any of these sobriety tests.
So remember Houston, if you are drinking this holiday weekend, have a designated driver.