Should You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?

Texas Implied Consent Law

If a law enforcement officer believes that there is probable cause that you are under the influence of a substance, he or she has the duty to stop you. Per Texas's implied consent law, if the officer determines probable cause for a chemical test to determine blood alcohol content, you are required to submit once arrested. However, the officer must inform you of this orally and in writing.

Although the implied consent law requires you to take a chemical test, you cannot be forced to do so. However, if you decide that you will not take the test, you can receive consequences. In some instances, the arresting officer will not give you a choice if you were involved in a collision that resulted in death or severe injury. The other instances require the following:

  • You were convicted on a prior intoxication assault charge.
  • You were convicted on a prior intoxication manslaughter charge.
  • You were convicted on two DWI charges in the past.
  • You were convicted on a DWI charge with a passenger under the age of 18.

Is It Better to Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?

The prosecution may say that you refused to take the test because you knew that you were guilty. This wouldn't benefit you at your trial. However, you should always discuss with an attorney before submitting to any kind of testing.

Remember, there are certain weekends of the year (usually holidays) where local law enforcement implements a "No Refusal" policy, during which you are required to submit to this testing if asked. Even though you still technically can deny taking a breathalyzer during this time, a court-ordered blood test may be conducted.

What Are the Consequences of Refusal?

If you refuse to take the test, your license can be suspended for 180 days. If it goes further and you are arrested on this DUI charge, it is better to take the chemical test and then contact an Austin criminal defense attorney right away. A conviction for a DUI can subject you to a $500 fine and a license suspension that could last as long as 180 days.

Don't Wait - Contact Smith & Vinson Law Firm First

Smith & Vinson Law Firm are skilled criminal defense attorneys with a history of winning DUI cases in Texas. If you are charged with a DUI, call (512) 359-3743 to get in contact with one of our attorneys right away.

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