Texas police officers use chemical tests to prove the presence of alcohol or substances in your system when they have reason to believe you are driving while intoxicated.
However, did you know this state has an implied consent law?
What is the implied consent law?
When you get a driver’s license in Texas, you automatically agree to blood or breath testing if law enforcement suspects you are driving impaired. The implied consent law gives a police officer with probable cause the right to administer tests that measure your blood alcohol concentration. This rule means you have already given your consent, and declining to take a BAC test results in penalties.
Can you refuse DWI testing?
You can refuse to take a blood or breath test, but you will face a license suspension. For a first-time offense, you automatically lose driving privileges for 180 days. For subsequent refusals, a 2-year license suspension applies. This 2-year penalty also applies if you have previous enforcement contact related to alcohol or drugs, like prior DWI convictions or failed BAC tests.
Officers must inform you of the consequences of refusing to test. They should also explain what happens if your BAC test is above the legal limit. Testing is mandatory if you have two prior DWI convictions or your incident involves serious injury or death.
What are your legal rights concerning blood alcohol tests?
Your case becomes two separate legal issues when you decline chemical testing: the implied consent rule penalties and the DWI charges. You have 15 days to appeal your license suspension. If you miss this deadline, your suspension takes effect immediately. Without the chemical test results, officers must prove the DWI charges using other evidence.
It is critical to understand Texas drunk driving laws to build a strong defense against your charges.