Posted on 10/12/20

Many Texas residents are ready to go out and have a good time after spending months in their home due to coronavirus-related shutdowns. In the excitement of the moment, it can be easy to have one too many drinks. After a fun night out with your friends or family, you might hear a siren behind you as you drive yome, one of the tell-tale signs that you are getting pulled over for a DWI. The police officer may ask you to take a blood or breathalyzer test. Can you refuse?

You can Refuse and Face Consequences

You do have the choice to refuse to take a blood-alcohol test or a breathalyzer test in Texas, but you will likely face penalties if you do. In some cases, police officers will still get a sample from you even if you object to the test. Texas follows the doctrine of implied consent when it comes to DUI testing. When you get a driver’s license in the state of Texas, you give your implied consent for a blood or breath sample if you are ever arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI).

Officers cannot take your blood or make you do a breathalyzer test unless they have lawfully arrested you for a DWI. At any point, before an arrest takes place, you still have the right to refuse any blood alcohol testing, including field sobriety testing, blood testing, and breathalyzer testing. After law enforcement officials arrest you, you can still refuse to undergo any chemical testing. In most cases, law enforcement officers must respect your decision, although you can still face penalties for refusal. 

In Some Cases, Law Enforcement Officers Can Take a Sample Without Your Consent

In limited circumstances, law enforcement officers do have a right to take blood samples or breathalyzer tests without the suspect’s consent. They can do so when they have reason to believe that the suspect was operating a motor vehicle in public while meeting the legal intoxication limit due to drugs, alcohol, or other substances. They must also prove that one of the following circumstances applies to the case:

  • The suspect has a previous DWI conviction with a minor child, age 14 or younger, in the vehicle

  • The suspect had a DWI-related car accident in which someone sustained serious bodily injury, died, or needed to go to the hospital

  • The suspect has two previous DWI convictions

  • The suspect has one previous intoxication manslaughter conviction or a conviction for an assault while intoxicated

Refusing a Blood or Breathalyzer Test

If you refuse a blood or breathalyzer test after being arrested for a DWI, you can lose your driver’s license for up to 180 days. If you have previously refused these tests or have a prior DWI conviction, your license could be suspended for two years. If you face DWI charges or charges for refusal to take a blood or breathalyzer test, you need an experienced lawyer. Contact today to schedule your initial consultation. 

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