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Breathalyzer Test

The consequences of refusing a breath test in Texas

If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving in Texas, you will probably be asked to take a breath test 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 Houston DWI defense lawyer from The Law Offices of Jed Silverman can help. For a free and confidential case review, please contact our firm today.

Source: Tex. Trans. Code §§ 724.011-012, 724.035