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Understanding the Implied Consent Law in Texas

Two common questions that drivers have are: “What do I do if I am pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving?” and “Should I take the breathalyzer and/or blood test if an officer asks me?”

Before anyone finds themselves facing this dilemma, it’s important that residents of Texas are aware that our state abides by a law known as “Implied Consent.”

The implied consent law in Texas states that, if you are arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe you have been driving while intoxicated, you automatically consent to one or more chemical tests to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC).

Essentially, by choosing to drive on the roads in Texas, you are assumed to have agreed to these tests. Your consent to provide a breath sample or blood sample may be withdrawn.

If, however, you are arrested you refuse to voluntarily provide a breath sample or blood sample to determine your BAC, you may face additional administrative penalties along with standard DWI penalties. Unfortunately, even if you are acquitted of the DWI charges, the penalties listed below will still apply. Additionally, the arresting officer may request a search warrant to obtain a blood sample even if you refuse to provide one voluntarily.

Consequences of refusing to take the tests:
  • 1st offense: 180 days license suspension
  • 2nd offense: 2 year license suspension
  • 3rd offense: 2 year license suspension

 

Upon your arrest, the officer should inform you that your refusal can be used against you in a court of law and will result in a suspension of your license for not less than 180 days. While failure to submit to a chemical test can have serious consequences, in some instances your refusal can help you avoid a DWI conviction. Even though the administrative penalties can be a major inconvenience, they are less serious than the penalties of a convicted DWI.If you have recently been pulled over or arrested for a DWI and refused a blood or breath test, contact an experienced DWI lawyer as soon as possible. DWI cases and implied consent laws can be confusing to navigate alone; having the help of a knowledgeable DWI attorney is invaluable to ensuring your rights are protected. To inquire about how the Law Offices of Ramos and del Cueto in San Antonio, TX can assist you in your case, call 210-212-900.