When you’ve been pulled over under suspicion of drinking and driving in Texas, it’s important to be aware of your rights, as well as any consequences you may now be facing. Texas is among several states that have “implied consent” laws in place. Implied consent means that when you get behind the wheel of a vehicle on the road, or a boat on the water, you agree to follow traffic laws, and consent to both field tests and chemical tests if your sobriety is called into question by an officer of the law.
After you’ve been arrested, you should receive written and verbal notification that your refusal to take a blood test will result in an automatic suspension of your license for up to 180 days. The officer should also inform you that if you choose to take the test and your Blood Alcohol Level is above the legal limit, that your license will be suspended for 90 days. If you choose to refuse the test, you will have to sign a statement of your refusal, and it becomes evidence that can be used in prosecuting your offense.
If you have acquired a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), the measure for sobriety is only .04%, and the penalty for refusing to take a blood test is much more severe. If you refuse to take a blood test, your license is automatically suspended for one year. If you use your CDL to transport hazardous materials, the automatic suspension for refusing to take a blood test goes up to three years. In each of these cases, your refusal can be used against you in court.
It is important to note that there are some individuals who cannot refuse to take a blood test to determine sobriety under any circumstances. If you have had two or more prior DWI convictions, or were arrested for DWI with a minor in your vehicle, you no longer have the right of refusal. Additionally, if you were involved in an accident involving alcohol that resulted in serious bodily injury or death, you have lost the right of refusal as well.
Remember, even with “implied consent,” you may still choose to refuse to give breath or blood, and it may be in your best interest to do so. By consulting with an attorney as quickly as possible following an arrest for DWI, you have access to expert counsel to help you decide what’s best for you. The attorneys at Dorman Bell, LLP have the knowledge and experience you need to present your best defense. Contact Dorman Bell, LLP right away at 214.736.7168 or fill out in the sidebar.