Here's a fact about DUI law that readers in Bryan and College Station should know: in Texas, the philosophy is that all drivers have given implied consent to be tested for intoxication if they are pulled over by a law enforcement officer. In a DUI context, that means a driver technically is no right to refuse a test.

However, a full 50 percent of people who are pulled over on suspicion of DUI refuse to submit a sample for chemical testing, according to the office of the Harris County District Attorney. Perhaps this is because they feel a roadside test is a violation of their person, or maybe they do not trust the accuracy of tests performed in the field (a concern for which there is some evidentiary support, by the way). Either way, refusal to submit to an alcohol test carries with it the possibility of having one's license administratively suspended.

To cut down on the large number of DUI suspects who are unwilling to provide a sample for testing, many local law enforcement agencies have tried the tactic of "no refusal" drives. In these campaigns, law enforcement officers are given a template of a search warrant; when a suspect refuses to submit a test, the remainder of the warrant is filled out and faxed or e-mailed to a judge, who then signs and returns the warrant. With that search warrant, a suspect has even less of a grounds to refuse to provide a test and, if he or she does so, faces much harsher penalties.

Like many areas of law, this raises many competing concerns. Do you think it is good that people who are suspected of drunk driving cannot really refuse to give in to testing? After all, it could be argued there is a public safety benefit to this policy. Or, do you fall into the other camp and think that this practice is violative of our rights?

Source: The Texas District & County Attorneys Association, "Anatomy of a DWI 'no-refusal weekend,'" Warren Diepraam, last accessed Nov. 7, 2011