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Houston DWI Lawyer > Blog > DWI > Consequences Of Refusing A Breath Test

Consequences Of Refusing A Breath Test


If you decide to refuse a breath test after being pulled over Texas, knowing what will likely happen next is important. For example, while there are potential legal repercussions for refusal, there are also situations where it may be justified. Not every driving under the influence arrest event is the same.

If you have questions about Texas driving while intoxicated (DWI) cases or have been changed with drunk driving and want to know how to safeguard your rights, connect with a Houston DWI lawyer.

The Breathalyzer Test Process

Before delving into the consequences of refusing a breath test, you need to comprehend the process involved:

  • Traffic stop and investigation. If a Texas law enforcement officer has reasonable suspicion that a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they will initiate a traffic stop. During the stop, an investigation begins. Essentially, the police officer is looking for signs of impairment, from slurred speech and the smell of alcohol to erratic behavior.
  • Field tests. After an initial review of the situation, the officer may request the driver to perform field sobriety tests, such as walking in a straight line or standing on one leg, to further assess impairment.
  • Breathalyzer request. Then, if an officer has probable cause that a driver is intoxicated, they may request a breathalyzer test. This test measures a person’s blood alcohol concentration and is administered using a device that analyzes a breath sample.

All US states operate under implied consent laws, meaning that when a person obtains a driver’s license in their home state, the individual implicitly agrees to submit to tests if they are arrested for driving under the influence.

Because of implied consent, refusing a breath test can lead to an automatic suspension of your Texas driver’s license. The duration of the suspension varies, but it is often longer for a refusal compared to failing the test.

Also understand that while a prosecution team cannot use the refusal of a breath test as evidence against you in court, they can present evidence of your refusal. Breath test refusals can prompt the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle as well. This could even be true for individuals who are not ultimately convicted of a drunk driving offense.

Medical Conditions and Refusing a Breath Test

While the consequences of refusing a breath test are significant, there are some situations where it is advisable to refuse. This could be true if you have a medical condition or health concerns that could compromise the accuracy of the breath test, for instance. Talk to an experienced Houston DWI lawyer about your reasons for wanting to forgo a breathalyzer.

Are you considering hiring an attorney after a drunk driving arrest? If you refused a breath test and are coping with the legal consequences, it is essential to call the legal team at Ayson Law Firm. Experienced attorneys are available to build a defense and guide you toward the best possible outcome given the details of your situation. Schedule your confidential, no-cost consultation to share your story. Contact us today.

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