In the state of Texas, all drivers are subject to what is known as the “implied consent” law. This law states that anyone who maintains a valid driver’s license must comply with chemical testing when a police officer is reasonably suspicious that they have been driving while intoxicated (DWI). While an officer cannot legally compel you to supply a breath, blood or urine sample if you do not wish to provide one, there will be consequences for refusing. In Texas, a first-time refusal will result in the suspension of your driver’s license for a period of 180 days—which is twice as long of a suspension as what would be imposed for a DWI conviction. Even so, you generally still have the right to refuse.
That being said, it is also true there are a few circumstances under which the police can compel you to provide a breath or blood sample for testing. Even if you object to blood-alcohol testing, the police could essentially force you to do so by obtaining a warrant; however, they could only do so if you have caused a DWI accident in which someone else was injured or killed. In fact, the Texas Legislature recently passed a new law that has authorized 6,000 paramedics throughout the state to assist policemen in conducting roadside blood draws. Previously, blood tests would be administered in a hospital or jail after the suspect has been arrested. Now, EMTs can conduct a DWI blood draw at the scene of the accident.
This, in turn, will lead to even more DWI arrests throughout the state. While it may not seem fair that the police can forcibly draw your blood, the law is on their side. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you protect yourself by retaining the help of a Houston DWI lawyer from Jim Medley & Associates, P.C. You could be facing some stiff legal penalties—especially if someone else was killed in the accident—so it may be in your best interests to speak with an experienced legal professional as soon as you have been arrested. If convicted of intoxication manslaughter, you would be guilty of a second degree felony. This is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Fortunately, our Houston DWI defense attorney is available to help. Not only does he have experience as a former Texas police officer, but he even holds a Master’s degree in forensic toxicology—which means that you can expect to receive nothing less than the skilled legal defense that you deserve when turn to Jim Medley & Associates, P.C. for assistance. Learn more about how we can help by contacting our firm today for a free consultation: (713) 668-4589. You can also submit a free case evaluation form online.