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What happens if you refuse a breath test?

On Behalf of | Oct 15, 2021 | DWI |

If an officer pulls you over and asks if you’ve been drinking, you may know that you don’t have to answer that question. By refusing to give any answers, you might, however, prompt the officer into asking you to give a breath sample.

With a Breathalyzer test, officers can discern if you have any alcohol registering in your breath. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re drunk at the time of the traffic stop, though. It could mean that you have a medical condition that produces the appearance of alcohol on your breath or that you recently used an alcohol-based mouthwash.

Problems with Breathalyzers may make you want to skip the test

Since there are some issues with Breathalyzers potentially producing inaccurate results, it can make sense for you to want to refuse the test. It’s within your legal rights to do so. However, if you do, know that you could face significant penalties.

Refusing a breath test in Texas

If you refuse a breath test in Texas, you will face legal consequences. Those consequences may include a license suspension. Why? The state has an implied consent law. That means that you agreed to take a test when you got your license. If you refuse, then you’ve broken the contract and the law.

You don’t have to submit a test before you’re arrested

Interestingly, you don’t have to submit a test prior to your lawful arrest. The officer may instead ask you to take the pre-arrest screening to determine if you should be taken into custody.

If you do this and are asked to take a Breathalyzer test after the arrest, know that a refusal becomes serious. At a minimum, you could lose your license for 180 days.

The laws may be more complicated than you think when it comes to DWIs and your license. You should make sure you defend yourself if you’re being accused of a DWI. That may include refusing a Breathalyzer test until after you’ve been arrested or have spoken with a legal professional. Be careful about what you say or do, so you can protect your rights.

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