Know Your Rights: No Refusal Initiative to Roll Out During Fiesta 2016

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As San Antonio prepares for a ten-day long party across the city with the 125th Anniversary of Fiesta slated for April 14- 24th; the SAPD will be on high alert, enforcing a “No Refusal” Initiative to curb drunk driving and increase drunk driving arrests in the Alamo City.  

“In far too many instances the “No Refusal” Initiative has led to wrongful arrests in Texas and the US, due to citizen’s lack of knowledge of their constitutional rights”, states DWI attorney, Jamie Balagia. “Whether a driver is 16 or 60 years old it is imperative for all citizens to know how to invoke their constitutional rights before heading out to Fiesta.”

You have the right to REFUSE TO:
  • Answer questions about whether you have been drinking
  •  Perform any field sobriety tests
  • Blow into the handheld portable breath test
  • Talk to the police about where you have been or where you are going
  • Give the police permission to search your car
  • Talk to the police about anything other than your driver’s license, proof of insurance and registration
You have the RIGHT TO:
  • Remain Silent (5th Amendment)
  • Have an attorney present before and during the questioning; (6th Amendment)
  • You have the right, if you cannot afford the services of an attorney, to have one appointed, at public expense and without cost to you, to represent you before and during the questioning. (6th Amendment) 
  • You may terminate the interview at any time you wish. (5th Amendment)
The “No Refusal” or “Arrive Alive” Initiative in cities across the country has been controversial for years and resulted in, what experts claim, as a 30% rate of wrongful DWI arrests annually.

Balagia warns, “No one wants drunk drivers on the road – moreover, no one should be arrested for a wrongful DWI that can cause a negative ripple effect in a person’s livelihood and criminal record. We want everyone to enjoy a safe Fiesta and for no one to have to wrongfully experience it from a jail cell.
Understanding your rights can prevent a lifetime of hardship, before getting behind the wheel this Fiesta. "


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