Drunk driving is a serious problem in the United States, and is one of the most common reasons behind road-related fatalities in recent years. That’s why DWI offenses are taken seriously by the criminal justice system. Drinking too much before getting behind the wheel can result in a series of unwanted consequences that can ruin your record. 

Before you face these consequences, police officers need evidence that demonstrates you were actually driving while intoxicated. The most common way to obtain this evidence is through a breathalyzer test. You can refuse to submit yourself to this test, but there will be consequences. Here’s what you need to know about these tests. 

Implied Consent

When you obtain a license in the state of Texas, you consent to specific terms and conditions. One of these is to consent to all tests in the event of a DWI arrest. A refusal means that you’re breaking the law, and will face penalties for it. This is called the implied consent law.

In certain instances, if the officers who stopped you have reasonable suspicion to believe that you were drinking and driving, they may be able to take a breath or blood sample without your consent. This typically happens if you were involved in an accident that resulted in a fatality, or if you already have DWI convictions on your record. 

License Suspension

Keep in mind that refusing a breathalyzer test means that your license will be suspended for 180 days, even if this is the first time you were pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. 

If you’re a repeat offender, you could lose access to your license for two years. Further offenses can even lead to your license being revoked completely. 

Chemical Testing

After your refusal, officers will arrest you and take you back to the station where you’ll be asked to take part in chemical testing for signs of alcohol or drugs

Don’t forget that you’re still under no legal obligation to consent, even if prosecutors could use your actions as evidence in court. A jury could believe that you refused all tests because you knew you were guilty. 

Is It Better to Take a Breathalyzer?

A criminal record, first-time offense, or other details can influence the length of your penalties. Because of this, you need to take the steps to protect your future and your chances to avoid harsh penalties. Often, accepting the test and later disputing the results can save you from many consequences. 

That’s because you have a chance to fight these charges while refusing to take a sobriety test results in automatic charges even if you were sober. Let your lawyer help you avoid these penalties. 

A Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights

Getting charged with a DWI can have lifelong consequences and can make it more difficult to obtain a job or buy a house. Police officers and the prosecution are aware of the intricacies of the criminal justice system. They will do everything they can to make you look guilty, especially if you refused to submit yourself to testing after getting pulled over. 

If you’re facing drunk driving charges, don’t waste time. Our legal team at Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC won’t stop fighting until your charges have been dismissed or reduced. To speak with a lawyer about your case, you can call  817-334-7900 or fill out our online contact form to learn more.