Can You Refuse the Breathalyzer Test?
What happens if I refuse the breathalyzer test in Texas?
Many clients ask, “What happens if I refuse to take the breathalyzer test when pulled over by a police officer in Dallas or Fort Worth Texas?”
The simple answer is that all Texas citizens have the legal right to refuse to take a breathalyzer test.
Refuse the Breathalyzer Test in Texas…
If you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer you have the right to refuse…
- The breath test (this is why lawyers say, “do not blow.”)
- You have the right to refuse to give a blood sample (although the rules change a bit if the officer produces a search warrant for a blood sample, so always consult your attorney in this situation 469-718-2020)
- You have the right to refuse a field sobriety test in Texas.
Most Texas DWI Lawyers will advise that you refuse all of the above because you are probably going to be arrested for DWI anyway, and it is not to your benefit to help the police department gather evidence against you. Keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to avoid a criminal conviction, and not necessarily an arrest at this point.
Upon refusal of the breathalyzer test (or a field sobriety test), there is a good chance that the police officer will request a warrant to obtain a blood sample instead. Another consequence of refusing the breathalyzer test is that the officer will then place you under arrest for DWI, confiscate your driver’s license, and issue you a temporary license.
In accordance with Texas law, there is a civil penalty for refusing to take the breathalyzer test, or for refusing to give a blood sample.
However, keep in mind that you are trying to avoid a criminal conviction for DWI and that a civil penalty is not the same as a criminal conviction on your permanent record.
Need A Free Consultation for DWI Charges?
Call (469) 718-2020 to speak to a Dallas DWI Attorney today. Our office offers free consultations to all new clients.