DWI Test Refusal
Implied consent laws in Texas allow law enforcement to ask anyone they suspect who is under the influence and driving to submit to a chemical DWI test. The Texas statute states that if you drive on Texas’s public roads then you are also implicitly agreeing to submit to DWI chemical testing legally administered by law enforcement. What you might not know about implied consent laws is that you have a choice in whether you’d like to submit or not.
You can refuse to submit to DWI testing if you’re worried that you may be over the legal limit of .08 blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). In fact, some attorneys would suggest you always refuse when an officer asks you to undergo DWI testing. The reasoning for this is that some DWI testing can result in false positives even if you are perfectly sober. Additionally, the consequences associated with DWI test refusals is usually much less severe than actual DWI criminal charges. If you or someone you know failed or refused DWI testing, then we suggest it’s time you find quality legal counsel.
Defense Attorney for DWI Refusals in Conroe, Texas
Chemical DWI testing isn’t flawless by any means. There have been recorded cases of sober people failing breath, blood or urine analysis despite the fact they never touched a drop of alcohol. If you have recently failed or submitted to DWI testing, it’s time you find the best legal representation possible. It’s our advice you get in touch with the skilled and experienced defense lawyers at Evans & Powell, PLLC.
You can contact us at (713) 622 - 2000 to set up your first appointment. During your consultation, our team of lawyers will do whatever we can to formulate a strong defense for you. You can find us in the city of Conroe, but our defense attorneys practice throughout the greater Montgomery County area including Willis, New Caney, Splendora and Montgomery.
Overview of DWI Refusals in Texas
- Implied Consent Laws and DWI in Texas
- Problems with Chemical Testing
- Suspended License from DWI Refusal
- Additional Resources
The Issues with DWI Testing
You might be under the notion that DWI chemical testing is a trusted process because it uses scientific methods to determine blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). While it’s true DWI testing has been shown to measure BAC, it’s also been proven that there are multiple issues with all types of chemical DWI tests that can lead to skewed results. These results stem from a magnitude of factors including faulty equipment, contaminated samples and improper lab procedures performed by personnel.
For instance, breath analysis is the most common form of chemical DWI testing. It’s also known to have the most flaws. A breath sample is measured by either a portable breath device (PBD) or at a full-sized device at the police station. A breath test will measure the number of alcohol per 210 liters of breath according to Texas law.
The portable devices can administer false positives since they don’t have the full capacity as a full-sized breathalyzer. On the other side, the large breathalyzers at the police station can give false readings if they’re not calibrated correctly or maintained. Not to mention other outside factors that can affect testing such as a person’s metabolism or even prior consumption of cold medicine before driving.
Urinalysis is another form of chemical testing that gives more accurate results than a breath test, but not by far. When a urine sample is taken it’s normally at a state or private crime lab where they measure the number of grams of alcohol per 67 milliliters of urine. Since there’s a chain of custody handling the sample it’s possible human error may contaminate it.
Another issue with urine testing is the fact it can detect multiple substances in your body. A urine test can discover terpenes that stay within your system for days or even weeks after you consumed a substance. For example, marijuana can stay in a person’s system for up to two weeks even if you hardly consume the substance.
Lastly, blood tests are used to determine BAC in cases where the officers suspect the person is under the influence of drugs. These tests are considered the most accurate out of the three, but still can produce faulty results. A variety of external factors may lead to a false BAC reading such as outdated equipment, poorly trained lab staff, mishandled samples and more.
What Are the Consequences for Refusing DWI Testing?
Violating implied consent laws doesn’t come without consequences. The Texas Penal Code states if you refuse to comply with DWI testing then you will be administratively penalized. It’s important to understand there is a distinct difference between a criminal consequence and an administrative one. Criminal penalties are handled within the judicial court system while administrative penalties normally are associated with the Department of Public Safety (TxDPS).
When you refuse DWI testing you are automatically up for a license suspension. You could also be arrested if the officer who asked to administer the tests has probable cause you’re under the influence and driving. For some police officers, simply refusing a DWI test is indication of guilt and enough probable cause for an arrest.
Although it’s understandable you wouldn’t want to spend a night in jail, in some cases it’s the best option. If you refuse DWI testing, then the prosecution will have little to no concrete evidence associated with your case. Instead the evidence will be objective such as police testimony or the officer’s dashcam. The prosecutor may even decide to not pursue charges because they believe they don’t have enough evidence to obtain a conviction.
For these reasons, some attorneys would suggest that violating implied consent laws is beneficial. A license suspension is much easier to contest than facing a criminal trial. You can simply file a request for an administrative license revocation to contest your suspension. If you’re able to sway the administrative judge’s mind, you may have your license reinstated or be able to use an occupational license.
Suspended Licenses from a DWI Refusal
When you refuse to submit to DWI testing it can lead to an administrative license revocation. This simply means your license may be suspended for a short period. To deter people from refusing DWI testing, the state has imposed longer suspension terms on refusals.
If you’re a non-commercial driver who’s over the age of 21, then your suspension will be:
- Up to 180 days for a first refusal; or
- Up to 2 year for a second or subsequent refusal.
If you’re underaged, then your suspension will be:
- Up to 180 days for your first refusal; or
- Up to 2 years for your second or subsequent refusal
If you’re a commercial driver, your commercial driver’s license could be disqualified for:
- Up to one year for refusing chemical testing; or
- Up to three years if you refused chemical testing while transporting hazardous materials
Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program – Visit the official website of the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) to learn more about ALR hearings, suspension terms and more. You can access the request form, pay reinstatement fees and learn about restricted licenses also known as occupational licenses.
Texas Implied Consent Statute – Visit the official website of Texas Penal Code to learn more about their implied consent laws as well as their penalties. Access the website to regulations, procedures for law enforcement and what law enforcement does if a person is incapable of consent to a blood draw due to a deadly accident.
DWI Lawyer for Refusals in Montgomery County, Texas
If you or someone you know has failed or refused DWI testing, then we suggest you get in contact with an experienced attorney. Having an attorney on your side can dramatically increase your chances of fighting a license suspension or DWI charges. Find an attorney who cares about you by calling the defense team at Evans & Powell, PLLC.
You can set up your first appointment free by simply calling (713) 622 - 2000. Our legal team will provide you with your legal options as well as set up a sturdy defense for your case. You can locate our offices at Conroe, but we practice throughout the greater Montgomery County area.