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Kyle Whitaker Blog

Is There a Penalty for Refusing a Field Sobriety Test in Texas?

You have the right to refuse field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests, but if you do, the court can suspend your driver’s license for 180 days, and the police will probably arrest you for DWI, anyway, but even if they do, you are innocent until proven guilty.

The court cannot issue a sentence for s crime unless the defendant pleads guilty or unless the prosecution presents evidence that is sufficiently compelling evidence to return a verdict of guilty. With some kinds of crimes, there is room for debate about what the evidence means, but in drunk driving cases, the facts are clear-cut. You would not be facing criminal charges for driving while intoxicated (DWI) unless a police officer had seen you drive and, after the officer pulled you over, there was additional evidence that you were drunk. You are guilty of DWI if you operate a motor vehicle when your blood alcohol content (BAC) is greater than or equal to 0.08%, and there is little room to disagree about the results of a breathalyzer test or blood test. You have the right to refuse almost any sobriety test that officers want to perform during an alleged DWI incident, but whether you consent to the test or refuse to take it, you should hire a Fort Worth DUI and DWI lawyer.

The Trouble With Field Sobriety Tests

The most common field sobriety tests are the eye test, the walking an imaginary tightrope test, and the standing on one leg test. It is difficult for most people to perform these tests successfully, even when they are sober. Factors that have nothing to do with alcohol, such as your footwear and physical fitness level, can affect how you perform on these tests. Besides, their interpretation is subjective, so police can say that you are walking like you are drunk, no matter how you walk.  (Police officers must use body cameras during DWI traffic stops, so the jury can disagree.)

Breath tests and blood tests give a numerical reading of your BAC, so they are more accurate.  You may be able to argue that the officer calibrated the breathalyzer device incorrectly, leading to an inaccurate result.

Consequences of Refusing a Field Sobriety Test in a Texas DWI Case

You have the right to refuse field sobriety tests, breathalyzer tests, and blood tests, but the police can still arrest you for refusing. Whether or not you get convicted of DWI, the court can suspend your driver’s license for 180 days. The only time you cannot refuse a DWI test is when police have obtained a warrant to do a blood test. Whether you refuse field sobriety tests, breathalyzers, or blood tests or get an unfavorable result, it does not always mean that you are guilty, and a DWI lawyer can still help you.

Contact the Fort Worth TX Law Office of Kyle Whitaker About DWI Cases

A criminal defense attorney can help you if you are being accused of DWI or refusing a sobriety test. Contact the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker in Fort Worth, Texas, to discuss your case.