Under the implied consent law, you are obligated to take a breath or blood test when a police officer charges you with a DWI. However, it is important to note that officers must have reasonable cause to pull you over, accuse you of DWI, and then request that you submit to a chemical test.
Why should I agree to take a breath or blood test?
After being arrested, an officer should inform you that if you refuse to take either test, your license will be suspended for at least 180 days. They should also notify you that your license will be suspended for 90 days or more if a test determines your blood alcohol was more than 0.08%.
However, there are several reasons that consenting to a test can be beneficial:
- You will avoid having your license suspended outside of your DWI case
- Your attorney can argue against the test evidence in court
- You could still be found guilty even if you refuse the test
- You may immediately lose driving privileges throughout your entire case
Even when you consent to a chemical test and have a BAC over the legal limit, you can apply to have temporary and restricted driving privileges while your attorney argues your case in court. However, when you refuse to consent to a test, it can often be harder to get this license suspension overturned.
What happens after a refusal?
When you refuse to submit to a test, an officer will have you sign a statement that says you were informed of the consequences of a refusal. You will then have your license taken by the officer in exchange for a temporary license which is only valid for the next 41 days.
After this, you will have only 15 days in which to schedule an administrative hearing to contest your license suspension. At this hearing, you will need to prove the officer did not have probable cause to stop you or that you in fact did not refuse a test or were not properly informed of the consequences.
Refusing to take a chemical test generally does not help your cause. It may appear that it does at first since a conviction and jail time is worse than a 180-day suspension, but just because you refused to take a test does not mean you cannot be found guilty.
Contact Our Top DUI Attorney
Whether you refused or consented to a chemical test and are now facing charges, be sure to reach out to our knowledgeable Houston DWI firm today. Attorney Martinez has over 15 years of experience defending those accused of drunk driving charges throughout Texas. In his experience as a former chief prosecutor, he knows what the other side is looking to find and how to properly defend against their tactics. With a 10.0 Superb rating on Avvo and rated as a Top DUI lawyer by multiple publications, do not hesitate to get in touch with our accomplished firm today!