Am I Required to Take A Breath Test?
Texas Transportation Code § 3501(a) establishes that a person arrested for an alleged driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense is deemed to have consented to submit to the taking of one or more specimens of his or her breath or blood for analysis to determine the alcohol concentration (commonly referred to as a blood alcohol concentration or BAC) or the presence in the person’s body of a controlled substance, drug, dangerous drug, or other substance.
A person arrested for an offense described by Texas Transportation Code § 3501(a) can also consent to submit to the taking of any other type of specimen to determine his or her BAC.
While implied consent laws are intended to compel people to submit to chemical tests simply by be being licensed to drive in Texas, the truth is that alleged offenders still retain the right to refuse to submit to testing in certain cases.
For example, law enforcement reserves the right to forcibly obtain blood samples when a person suspected of DWI offense that results in a motor vehicle accident causing injuries to or there was a child passenger in the vehicle at the time of the alleged offense.
Refusing to submit to a DWI test may prevent authorities from obtaining evidence of intoxication, but it also carries criminal penalties. In Texas, a first offense for refusing a requested DWI test will result in the alleged offender’s driver’s license being suspended for 180 days and any subsequent refusal is punishable by license suspension for up to two years.
Austin DWI Defense Attorney
If you were arrested for DWI anywhere in the greater Travis County area and refused to submit to chemical testing, it is critical for you to immediately retain legal counsel. A suspension or denial of driving privileges takes effect on the 40th day after the date on which the person received the notice of suspension or denial or is considered to have received notice of suspension or denial.
A person only has 15 days to request a hearing with the State Office of Administrative Hearings if they want to challenge the suspension or denial of driving privileges. Under Texas Transportation Code § 724.048, the determination of a department or administrative law judge is a civil matter independent of criminal charges that does not preclude litigation of the same or similar facts in a criminal prosecution.
Austin criminal defense lawyer Kevin Bennett represents clients in Pflugerville, Bee Cave, Lakeway, Sunset Valley, Lago Vista, West Lake Hills, and many surrounding areas of Central Texas. Contact The Law Office of Kevin Bennett to receive an honest and thorough evaluation of your case.