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Understanding your right to refuse DWI testing

If an officer pulls you over and asks you to take a breath test, you may face a DWI charge. To some, the choice to refuse to take the test may seem simple. However, there are a few things you should know about the process.

DWI is a serious charge in Texas -- one that can come with heavy ramifications well after you go through the court proceedings. For this reason, it is critical that you be aware of your rights every step of the way.

Implied Consent

Texas has an implied consent statute. In short, the law states that any individual who is arrested for drunk driving automatically consents to alcohol testing. If you refuse to take a breath or blood test, there are stiff penalties under the law, including possible license suspension.

Refusal Penalties

The Texas penal code states the penalties for refusing blood-alcohol testing. The severity of punishment depends on the number of offenses the accused individual has. If it is a first offense, you could lose your driver's license for up to 180 days. If it is a second offense or more within 10 years of each other, you face a two-year license suspension. 

Typically, if you refuse a breath test in Bexar County, the arresting officer will try to get a a search warrant to obtain a blood sample for forensic testing.

Officer Duty

The arresting officer must forewarn you about the consequences of refusing the test before asking you to take it. If an officer does not inform you of the penalties you face if you do not take the test, you may have a fighting chance at beating the charge.

It is important to fully understand what you are facing when law enforcement pulls you over for drunk driving. If you have been arrested for DWI in Bexar County, contact an experienced DWI defense lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you get an attorney involved, the sooner you can start fighting to protect your rights.

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