Get the Facts You Need Regarding DWI Breath Tests
According to Texas law, if you are driving a vehicle you have automatically given consent to submit to a chemical test. This means that if you are pulled over under suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI), you are obligated to submit to a breath or blood test that measures your blood alcohol content (BAC) level.
What Qualifies as ‘Probable Cause’
Law enforcement is not allowed to pull someone over for DWI without probable cause, or evidence to support a reasonable suspicion that the driver is under the influence. Justifications may include witnessing a traffic violation, accident, or poor driving (such as weaving on the road). Once the driver has been pulled over, the officer may continue to make observations such as bloodshot eyes, the odor of alcohol or drugs, or slurred speech.
Pre- and Post-Arrest Testing
During a DWI stop, law enforcement may request what’s called a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test. These tests, typically conducted with a handheld breathalyzer, are completely voluntary and refusing one will not affect your driving privileges. However, if you are arrested and continue to refuse a breath or blood test, there are consequences.
Can I Refuse a Breath Test?
Despite the implied consent laws in Texas, officers cannot normally force a driver to submit to a sobriety test. Exceptions to this rule include situations where a serious injury or death has occurred on the road, or the driver has a prior conviction(s) for a related charge. Examples of related charges include intoxication assault, manslaughter, two prior DWIs, or one prior DWI with a child in the car).
The Consequences for Refusing a Breath Test
- Automatic, 180-Day License Suspension. Drivers who refuse to take a breath test are subject to an automatic suspension of their driver’s license. If you are a first-time offender, you will be facing a 180-day driver’s license suspension. Second- and third-time offenders will have their driver’s license suspended for 2 years.
- Your refusal can be used as evidence against you. Refusing to take a breath test during a DWI stop can be submitted as evidence against you in court.
Cooperating With Law Enforcement
While the circumstances of every case will vary, it’s often in the driver’s best interests to willingly submit to a breath test after arrest. If you decide to submit to the test and your BAC level is above the legal limit, your license will be suspended. However, this suspension will only be 90 days long, as opposed to the 180-day suspension you will face if you refuse to take the test.
What to Expect During a DWI Stop
- Prepare to take a breath test immediately. Your breath test will be administered as soon as possible from the moment you are stopped by a law enforcement officer for a DWI. It will be up to the law enforcement officer to decide whether you will take a field sobriety, blood, or breath test.
- You can request a blood test within 2 hours. If you have submitted to the officer’s test, you have the right to request a blood test, which can be administered by the medical professional of your choice (at your expense). The results of that test will be valid in court as long as it is administered within two hours of your arrest.
Breath Test Lawyer Fighting Relentlessly for You
At the Law Office of Jesse Hernandez, we understand how scary it is to be arrested for suspicion of DWI. We take it upon ourselves to fight vigorously on behalf of our clients, and we will stop at nothing to help you defend your DWI case. We are not afraid to contest the methods used by the arresting officer or to challenge the evidence brought forth by the prosecution.
Our founder, Attorney Jesse Hernandez, has been rated 10.0 Superb by Avvo, demonstrating his high level of dedication and professionalism in the legal field. Having once worked as an assistant public defender, Mr. Hernandez has handled hundreds of criminal cases, ranging from minor misdemeanor to serious felony offenses.
Trust Our Legal Team With Your DWI
Our team recognizes that behind every individual involved in a sticky legal situation, there is an average person who is worried about their family and future. These individuals place all their hopes on the skills of their DWI lawyer in San Antonio or Austin. You can be certain that we will try our hardest to help you reach a favorable resolution. We also acknowledge that a legal crisis can occur at any time, so we extend our services to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Schedule a Free Case Consultation
If you have any questions regarding breath tests, or you would like to know more about DWI law in Texas, do not hesitate to contact our team of San Antonio DWI lawyers today. In order to encourage people to seek the legal support they need, we proudly provide free case consultations to all potential clients. Reach out to us today to book a meeting with our DWI lawyer in San Antonio or Austin.
San Antonio Office: 3107 Broadway Street, San Antonio, Texas 78209. (210) 807-8656.
Austin Office: 2025 Guadalupe Street Suite 260, Austin, Texas 78705. (512) 982-4798.