Houston Attorney on DWI Refusal
DWI Refusal to Submit to Chemical Test of Your Breath or Blood
The law deems that any driver in Texas has “impliedly consented” to submit to a breath or blood test if requested to do so by a law enforcement officer after a driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrest. Many of these individuals simply refuse to provide the sample for any number of reasons:
- The driver believes the arrest for DWI was unjustified;
- The driver wants to talk to an attorney before submitting to a chemical test;
- The driver believes that the breath test may be inaccurate or unreliable; or
- For privacy or health reasons, the driver is concerned about submitting to a blood test at the direction of law enforcement.
Recent Texas DWI statistics show that nearly half of all individual arrested for DWI refuse to submit to a breath or blood test. If you have been accused of DWI and refusing to submit to a breath or blood test then contact experienced Houston DWI attorney, Matt Horak, to discuss ways to fight this criminal charge in Harris County or Montgomery County, TX.
The Good and Bad News in a DWI Refusal Case
The bad news about refusing to a chemical test is that Texas law provides for harsher penalties, including a longer administrative license suspension. Additionally, the prosecutor may be able to argue at trial that the individual’s failure to submit to the breath or urine test is evidence of his “consciousness of guilt.”
The good news is that refusing to provide the chemical sample often results in the prosecutor not having the most persuasive evidence of driving while intoxicated — a chemical test result showing the driver’s blood or breath sample was over the legal limit of .08.
DWI Refusal Penalties
Texas DWI laws provide for harsh penalties when the driver refuses to submit to a chemical test of the driver’s breath, blood, or urine. If the driver refuses to take a blood or breath test after being arrested for DWI, the driver could face the following punishments or penalties:
- suspension of the driver’s privilege to drive in the State of Texas for 180 days for the first arrest for DWI;
- suspension of the driver’s privilege to drive in the State of Texas for two years for a subsequent arrest within ten years if, in the first arrest the driver refused to submit to a chemical test; and
- the prosecutor may be able to admit into evidence the fact that you refused to take the breath test during a jury or bench trial in order to show evidence that the driver refused because he believed he was too intoxicated for the results to be under the legal limit.
Administrative Hearing to Protect Your Driver’s License after a Refusal
You have the right to contest the administrative suspension of your driver’s license. At the hearing, your attorney will fight the following issues:
- whether probable cause or reasonable suspicion existed to stop your vehicle or otherwise detain you during the investigation;
- whether probable cause existed to believe you operated a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated;
- whether the arresting officer properly requested to submit to chemical testing after being arrested for DWI; and;
- whether you actually refused the chemical test of your breath or blood upon a proper request of the officer.
Texas Commercial Driver License and DWI
If the driver holds a Texas Commercial Driver License, a refusal to submit to a breath or blood test could result in a one-year disqualification that occurs automatically.
Indirect Consequences of a Texas DWI Conviction – Increased Auto Insurance Rates
Any reinstatement after the suspension requires that the driver first obtains SR-22 insurance for two years after the date of conviction.
Educational Links on DWI Refusals in Harris County, TX
DWI Refusal in Harris County, Texas — Article by Warren Diepraam, Assistant District Attorney in Harris County, TX, describing how Prosecutors and Police Officers in Harris County, Texas, are discouraging refusals to submit to chemical test of the breath or urine.
Horak Law – A DWI Refusal Lawyer in Houston, TX
If you refused to provide a breath or blood sample when you were arrested for DWI in Texas, it is in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation. Horak Law aggressively defends clients throughout Harris County and many surrounding areas, including Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, Waller County, Liberty County, Galveston County, and Brazoria County.
Matt Horak is a criminal defense attorney in Houston who has been Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. You can have him review your case and help you explore your legal options during a initial consultation as soon as you call (713) 225-8000 or [phone-tollfree] today.