If you have been pulled over under the suspicion of driving under the influence, you have likely been asked to submit to a series of field sobriety tests and/or a breathalyzer test. In the state of Texas, operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher is illegal, so if you agree to submit to a sobriety test and you fail, you will be arrested and charged with a DWI offense. But what happens if you simply refuse? Well, what some may not realize is that implied consent laws prohibit anyone with a driver’s license from being able to lawfully refuse to submit to a chemical test—including either a blood, breath or urine test.
This means that upon application for a state driver’s license, an individual has consented to submit to sobriety testing in the future, at a law enforcement officer’s request. Although a driver cannot physically be forced to provide a breath or blood sample—unless they have been involved in an accident that has serious injured or killed another person—refusing to do so will still have serious legal consequences. Violating Texas implied consent laws may result in a driver’s license suspension of up to 180 days, in addition to the required payment of a hefty fine and the possibility of still being arrested for a DWI offense.
Refusing to submit to a sobriety test may ultimately have more severe ramifications that adhering to the test and subsequently failing it. If one was to be arrested for DWI regardless of their refusal to take a sobriety test, the prosecution may also use this evidence against them during a future trial to show that they are guilty of committing the crime. For this reason, if you have violated the state’s implied consent laws, it is important to contact a Houston DWI attorney as soon as possible. By enlisting the help of a legal professional early on, you may be able to more adequately defend yourself against the consequences of a conviction. Contact our firm today for more information.