Refusing A Breathalyzer Test And Implied Consent
Breathalyzers are a tool used by law enforcement to determine a person’s alcohol intoxication level. If you have noticed a person pulled over and receiving sobriety tests on the side of a Texas roadway, a breath test is likely part of that review. But you may be wondering why a person would allow a police officer to test their breath if they think it is possible they will be arrested for drunk driving, but refusing a test can lead to more problems due to implied consent.
While there are situations in which a person is pulled over because they are suspected of drunk driving, because they were swerving or exhibiting other signs of intoxication, and they refuse to provide a breath sample, this is usually not in your best interests. To learn more about Texas law, bring your alcohol and drug law questions to the attention of a Houston DWI lawyer.
Understanding Texas Implied Consent Law
According to Texas law, specifically under the transportation code, when you operate a vehicle you are giving implied consent to alcohol tests if law enforcement suspects you of driving under the influence. This is also true for individuals operating boats or other water crafts. This is because you have a duty of care when operating vehicles in public.
Duty of care simply means you are to not behave recklessly, that you will not do things that could endanger your own health or the health of others in public areas. Because implied consent is in place in Texas, law enforcement has a right to test you, including administering breathalyzer tests, should any of the following be true:
- You were driving in a way that led police to pull you over because they suspected you of driving under the influence.
- After being in a bar for a long period, you are seen leaving the establishment.
- Reckless operation of a watercraft.
When a police officer finds you suspicious, and they think you are likely over the legal limit, they have the authority to request you submit to sobriety tests.
Refusing Can Lead to More Legal Issues
While the police officer can’t force an individual to take the test, not taking it when it is requested will result in your driver’s license being automatically suspended for 180 days. Also, you can be taken to jail.
After a refusal, you will need to schedule an administrative license revocation hearing to handle the matter of your license being suspended. Connect with a Houston DWI lawyer to guide you through this process. There could be a path to defending yourself, particularly if there is evidence the police officer did not have reasonable cause to pull you over.
Have you refused a breath test after being pulled over in Texas? Whether you refuse a blood, urine, or breath test, you need to have legal guidance to discuss next steps. To talk to a skilled lawyer about what to do next, connect with the legal team at Ayson Law Firm. The lawyers at Ayson Law will build an optimal defense strategy for your unique situation. Contact us today for a free consultation.