If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving in Texas, you will
probably be asked to take a breath or blood test. Unlike in some states,
refusing a test in Texas is not considered a crime. But there are consequences.
This post will give some general information about these consequences.
However, it should not be considered specific legal advice.
If you refuse to take a blood or breath test, your driver's license
will be suspended for 180 days under
Texas' implied consent law. If you take the test and are found to have a blood alcohol level over
the legal limit, your license will ordinarily be suspended for only 90
days. Of course, if you are convicted of a DWI you will also face additional
penalties, including fines and a possible jail sentence. You can be charged with
DWI if you refuse the test. However, without evidence of blood alcohol content,
the prosecution may have a harder time getting a conviction.
Under some circumstances, you do not have the option of refusing the test.
If you are involved in an accident that results in death or serious injury
and the officer has grounds to believe you caused the accident as the
result of intoxication, you will be required to take the test. You may
also be required to take the test if you are arrested for DWI with a child
in the vehicle. And if you have two or more previous DWI convictions,
or any previous convictions for intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter,
you cannot refuse the test.
If you have refused a breath or blood test, you still have legal options.
You have a right to a hearing to challenge the suspension. And in many
cases it is possible to get an occupational driver's license which
will allow you to drive to and from work or school. But you do need to
act quickly. An experienced Texas DWI defense lawyer can help.
Source: Tex. Trans. Code Â§Â§ 724.011-012, 724.035