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Family and Criminal Law Blog

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Should You Submit to a Breathalyzer Test in Texas?

If you are pulled over in Texas on suspicion of DUI/DWI, then you may be asked to submit to a Breathalyzer test. Law enforcement officials administer such a test to driver’s whom they believe to be operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Some people may refuse to take a Breathalyzer test to avoid having evidence of their intoxication that could later be used against them. Just know, however, that refusing a Breathalyzer test is not without consequences.

Should You Submit to a Breathalyzer Test in Texas?

Texas is an implied consent state. This means it has an implied consent law which states that those operating a vehicle in the state of Texas have implicitly given their consent to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test upon suspicion of drinking and driving. Refusal of any of these tests, Breathalyzer test included, is a violation of Texas law. In order for the law to apply, however, the driver must be lawfully arrested by a law enforcement officer with probable cause to suspect the driver of operating the vehicle while intoxication. Should this be the case, and the driver refuse the Breathalyzer test, he or she should be informed by the officer that the refusal will result in automatic driver’s license suspension for 180 days.

In fact, the driver’s license of the driver who refuses to submit to a Breathalyzer test can be taken by the law enforcement officer at the very scene of the suspected DUI/DWI. The driver may later be issued a temporary driving permit when he or she is released from jail after the DUI/DWI arrest. Yes, even a driver who has refused a Breathalyzer test may still be taken to jail under suspicion of drinking and driving despite the test results to confirm intoxication.

Not only may a driver still be brought to jail upon DUI/DWI suspicion, but he or she may still be found guilty of drinking and driving. If convicted of this charge, the driver faces all of the penalties associated with such a conviction on top of the administrative penalties imposed due to his or her refusal to submit to the test. In fact, those who refuse a Breathalyzer test in an attempt to avoid providing evidence of intoxication may be surprised to find that their refusal to submit to the test can actually be used, in and of itself, as evidence of impairment against them at trial.

DUI/DWI Defense Attorneys

Submitting to a Breathalyzer test and refusing to submit to a Breathalyzer test can both come with consequences. Navarrete & Schwartz are here to help you handle those consequences. Are you facing a DUI/DWI charge? We are a team of dedicated criminal defense lawyers committed to fighting for you. Criminal convictions can carry severe penalties and consequences that will follow you far into the future. Don’t let a criminal charge become a criminal conviction. Contact us today.


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