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Should I Consent to a Blood Alcohol Test if I Am Pulled Over for DWI?

Posted on in DWI

Collin County criminal defense attorney DWI

Drunk driving is a safety issue that affects everyone who travels the roadways. Because alcohol or drug use can make it difficult or impossible to drive safely, police officers are always on the lookout for behavior that may indicate that a driver is intoxicated. Drivers who are pulled over by law enforcement on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI) will likely be concerned about what they can do to protect their rights, and they should be sure to understand how to respond when asked to submit to any testing to determine whether they are impaired.

Texas’ Implied Consent Law

In the state of Texas, anyone who obtains a driver’s license is considered to have consented to have his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) tested if arrested on DWI charges. This is referred to as “implied consent,” and it means that drivers can face consequences if they refuse BAC testing after an arrest.

It is important to understand that implied consent applies to BAC tests performed following a DWI arrest rather than any preliminary tests performed before a person is arrested. In many cases, when police pull someone over, they will ask the driver to consent to a portable breathalyzer test, or they may request that the motorist perform field sobriety tests, such as walking in a straight line or standing on one foot. These tests are used by officers to determine whether they have probable cause to make an arrest on DWI charges, and drivers are allowed to refuse them. 

After a DWI arrest, a person will be taken to a police station, where he or she will usually be asked to submit to chemical BAC testing. These may include either blood tests or breath tests, which will provide an accurate measurement of the driver’s blood alcohol level. If a chemical test shows that a driver is above the legal BAC limit of .08 percent, he or she may be charged with DWI. While these tests can be refused, doing so will result in an automatic driver’s license suspension of at least 180 days. 

A refusal to submit to testing can be used as evidence in a DWI case, and officers may seek to obtain a warrant, allowing them to perform a BAC test without receiving consent. BAC testing may also be performed without consent if a driver was involved in an accident that resulted in serious bodily injury or death; if the person was arrested for DWI with a child passenger; if the person had previously been convicted of intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter; or if the person had a record of at least two previous DWI convictions.

Contact Our McKinney DWI Defense Lawyers

If you have been arrested for DWI, the Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson P.L.L.C. can provide you with legal representation as you defend against the charges you are facing. We will help you determine whether you can challenge the results of blood alcohol testing based on factors such as improperly calibrated equipment or nonstandard testing procedures, and we will work with you to find the best defense strategy that will allow you to avoid a conviction. Call our skilled Collin County criminal defense attorneys today at 469-333-3333 to arrange a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/TN/htm/TN.724.htm

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.49.htm

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