October 29, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- The penalties for refusing a breathalyzer if arrested in Texas for a DWI
While most Texas motorists are well aware that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle on Texas roads with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more, many are not nearly as certain as to what their rights are when police officers ask them to submit to breathalyzer tests following a DWI arrest. For instance, can they refuse?
Indeed, it is quite possible that many motorists will initially react to such a request by declining to take a breathalyzer test since they may feel that it is inherently unfair that they be forced to provide evidence that may be used against them in court of law. However, motorists who do refuse breathalyzer tests in Texas
need to know that consequences may exist for turning down the test - consequences that are based in the state's implied consent law.
Implied consent law in Texas
Essentially, Texas' implied consent law states that anyone arrested for a DWI while driving in Texas is already deemed to have given consent to be tested for the presence of alcohol - or any other controlled substance - in the person's body. Testing can include the analysis of an individual's breath or blood, although breath testing is the most common.
Since consent for alcohol testing is presumed following a Texas DWI arrest
, if a person refuses testing he or she can face punishment for the refusal. Specifically, Texas law dictates that any person who refuses to submit to testing will have his or her driver's license suspended for 180 days, or up to two years if the person has another refusal or DWI conviction within the prior 10 years.
Importantly, those who lose their licenses following a refusal have a right to request a hearing within 15 days before the State Office of Administrative Hearings, which will review the reasonable suspicion or probable cause leading up to the DWI arrest and the circumstances of the refusal.
However, it is important to keep in mind that this entire process is administrative in nature and does not include possible criminal punishments. For instance, even if the administrative law judge reinstates the person's license following the hearing, the person can still risk losing his or her license if he or she is ultimately convicted of a DWI. After all, even if a person refuses a breath test, police can still charge the person with a DWI if they believe alcohol has impaired the person's normal mental or physical faculties.
Legal assistance is available
As this article demonstrates, the law in Texas regarding breathalyzer refusals is quite complex. Accordingly, if you are currently facing refusal or DWI charges, it is often best to talk to an experienced DWI defense attorney. A skilled attorney can review the circumstances of your arrest and help ensure your rights are protected.
Article provided by Hines Ranc & Holub
Visit us at www.hinesrancholub.com