Do I Have to Take a Breathalyzer Test if Pulled Over | Texas?

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Do I Have to Take a Breathalyzer Test if I am Pulled Over in Texas?

 Posted on June 17,2022 in DWI

TX DWI LawyerImagine the following scenario: You are driving down the road when you hear police sirens. You look in your rearview mirror and see flashing lights. You pull over and a police officer approaches your window. He suspects you of driving while intoxicated (DWI) and wants you to take an alcohol breath test or breathalyzer.

Do you have to comply? What happens if you refuse a breathalyzer test in Texas?

Clearing Up the Confusion Regarding DWI Arrests and Breath Tests

Breath alcohol tests are used to determine whether a person has been drinking. These tests are often used during traffic stops to provide police with probable cause for an arrest. There are two types of breath tests used in drunk driving cases: The breath test that police officers carry with them and use during traffic stops is a portable breath test. Results from portable breath tests like these are not admissible as evidence in a DWI case. These tests are used to justify a drunk driving arrest and take a driver into custody.

Once a driver is arrested and taken to the police station, the driver is asked to take another breath test on a much larger and more accurate breath testing device called an evidentiary breath test machine. The results from an evidentiary breath test machine are admissible as evidence in court, hence the term “evidentiary.”

What Happens if You Refuse a Breath Test?

A driver is considered intoxicated if his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or greater. Many drivers wonder if they can avoid conviction for DWI if they refuse to take a breath test. You do have the right to refuse a breath test in Texas. Refusing the roadside, portable breath test during a traffic stop will not necessarily prevent you from being arrested, but there are also no penalties for doing so.

However, refusing an evidentiary breath test does have consequences. Because of Texas’s implied consent law, not taking an evidentiary breath test is punished by certain civil penalties. Specifically, refusing to submit to an evidentiary breath test results in a driver’s license suspension of 180 days for a first offense and two years for a second offense. Once your license is suspended, you have 15 days to request a formal hearing with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and challenge the license suspension.

Contact a Pleasanton DWI Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one were arrested for drunk driving, contact our Atascosa County DWI defense attorneys for help. Call BRCK Criminal Defense Attorneys at 830-769-1010 for a free consultation.


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