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What Happens If You Refuse a Breathalyzer in Texas?

What You Need to Know About a DWI Chemical Test Refusal

In Texas, it is unlawful to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%. If a law enforcement officer believes that you are driving while intoxicated they may place you under arrest and require you to take a chemical breath or blood test. If you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer or a blood test then you could face additional penalties.

At Maverick Ray & Associates, we represent individuals who have been arrested or charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas. Our lawyers will fight the charges, working to get your case reduced or dismissed. We are experienced trial lawyers who know what it takes to win. Contact our office today at (281) 947-2007 to schedule a free consultation.

Is It Illegal to Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in Texas?

The State of Texas has what is referred to as implied consent, meaning that by accepting a driver’s license you agree to submit to a chemical test if you are arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). 

In most cases, you are not required by law to submit to a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test. A preliminary alcohol screening test is a handheld breathalyzer that is administered prior to arrest. It is often the last field sobriety test administered by a law enforcement officer to determine if you were driving under the influence. You have the right (most of the time) to refuse any field sobriety tests including the PAS test.

You cannot, under the state’s implied consent law, refuse a chemical breath or blood test. A chemical breathalyzer, unlike a PAS test, is completed after arrest. In many instances, it is done back at the police station. If you refuse to give a blood or breath test, you will likely face additional penalties including a 180-day license suspension. 

What Effect Will Refusing a Breathalyzer Have On Your Legal Case?

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense that can lead to jail time. Even on a first-offense DWI conviction, you can face significant penalties. As noted by the Texas Impaired Driving Task Force, you could end up in jail for up to 180 days.

Penalties for a first-offense DWI in Texas include:

  • A fine not to exceed $2,000;
  • 3 to 180 days in jail;
  • Up to a 2-year license suspension;
  • Annual surcharge for up to 3 years;
  • Required DWI education program; and
  • Possible installation of an ignition interlock device (IID).

If you fail or refuse a chemical test, such as a breathalyzer you will also face a potential driving suspension that is separate from the criminal case. An Administrative License Revocation (ALR) for a refusal is 180 days on the first offense and two years on the second offense. 

Refused a Chemical Test? Contact Our Office.

Did you refuse a breathalyzer after being arrested for DWI in Texas? Our experienced attorneys can help fight the charges against you. Contact our office today at (281) 947-2007 to schedule a free consultation. Let us help protect your rights and your freedom. Call now to get started. 

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