What To Understand About Implied Consent And Texas DWIs
Many people are unaware of implied consent laws. But all people applying for a driver’s licenses automatically consent to these regulations regarding DWIs and the sobriety and chemical tests conducted by police. So, if you’ve already automatically given your consent when you get your license, what more do you need to know about this? Understanding implied consent laws is crucial when it comes to navigating and fighting a DWI arrest or charge.
What Does Implied Consent Mean?
When you apply for your driver’s license, you are agreeing to implied consent laws. This means that you are automatically agreeing to submit to sobriety testing if you’re pulled over. In these situations, if the police have probable cause to think you’re intoxicated while driving, you have already consented to a sobriety test, including both field sobriety tests and chemical tests.
What Signs Are Police Officers Looking For That Would Give Them Implied Consent?
Even with implied consent laws, police officers cannot subject you to a sobriety test in just any circumstances. They must have probable cause to start the sobriety test. Signs of probable cause can include:
- Slurred speech
- The smell of alcohol
- Red or bloodshot eyes
- Fumbling or erratic movements
If the police find enough probable cause, the implied consent laws kick in, and they can ask you to perform a field sobriety test or submit to a chemical test, like a breathalyzer.
How Does Implied Consent Relate To Test Refusal?
While implied consent laws state that you have already agreed to sobriety testing at the time you obtain your driver’s license, you can still technically refuse to perform a sobriety test after being pulled over. Even if the police have probable cause and implied consent, they cannot force you to take a sobriety test. It is not illegal to refuse a test, even with implied consent.
However, this does not mean there aren’t consequences for refusing a test. In Texas, refusing a sobriety test, like a breath test, means automatic license suspension.
Contact An Experienced DWI Attorney Today
Implied consent laws can be complicated and confusing, and in some cases, they can factor into fighting your charges. To get more information, clarity and advice about implied consent, contact an experienced attorney. At Ramos & Del Cueto, the lawyers on our team have extensive experience with DWI cases and implied consent laws. Call our San Antonio office at 210-761-6004 or use our online contact form to set up a consultation to find out more.