What are the Penalties for Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in Texas?
If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test or give a blood sample during a DWI traffic stop in TX, the state can suspend your driver’s license, regardless of whether you eventually get a DWI conviction for the incident.
The law sets strict standards for the circumstances when police are allowed to collect which pieces of evidence to help the prosecution build its case against a defendant, but too often, police bully people into handing over incriminating evidence when the law does not require this of them. Numerous criminal cases have ended in acquittals when the defendants’ attorneys persuaded the court that certain pieces of evidence were inadmissible because the state had only collected them by violating the defendant’s legal rights. In driving while intoxicated (DWI) cases, the air you breathe is often the evidence that convinces the jury one way or another about whether you are innocent or guilty. Although errors are possible, breathalyzer tests can accurately tell whether a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is above the legal limit by measuring the concentration of ethanol in the driver’s exhaled air. The Fort Worth DWI and DUI lawyers at the Office of Kyle Whitaker can help you if you are facing legal trouble because you took a breathalyzer test or because you did not take one.
What Happens if You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in Texas?
If you refuse a breathalyzer test or blood test at a DWI traffic stop, the police cannot collect a sample of your breath or blood without your consent. Refusal to allow your BAC to be measured does, however, carry a penalty of automatic driver’s license suspension. If you do not have any prior DWI convictions, the suspension period is 180 days. If you have any DWI convictions on your record, the state will suspend your license for two years. You have 15 days to appeal the license suspension so that you can keep your driving privileges while your DWI case is pending.
Is it a Good Idea to Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?
If you did not consume any alcohol before driving, you have nothing to fear by taking a breathalyzer test. If you have been drinking, then you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t, so you are trying to choose the least bad option. If you take the breathalyzer test, and it shows that your BAC is 0.08 or higher, you have an uphill battle to try to persuade the jury that the reading was inaccurate. If you do not take the breathalyzer, the prosecution will not have any BAC evidence against you in your case, so you can argue that, by the time you got behind the wheel, your BAC was only 0.07, and the jury might believe you. You will just have to enjoy your freedom while riding public transportation.
Contact the Fort Worth TX Law Office of Kyle Whitaker About Breathalyzer Trouble
A criminal defense attorney can help you if you are being accused of DWI and you refused to provide a breath sample or blood sample at the traffic stop. Contact the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker in Fort Worth, Texas, to discuss your case.