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Refusing a Breath or Blood Test

Can I refuse a breath or blood test?

When a driver is suspected of DWI, or driving while intoxicated, an officer is given the statutory "option" of asking that you submit to a test of your breath (most common type test) or blood.

Texas allows DWI suspects to refuse to submit to testing. In most cases, the police officer will have asked you to first perform field sobriety tests, but these field evaluations are not mandatory.

Because of the implied consent law, however, you can be arrested for refusing a breath or blood test, even if you were completely sober. A refusal may lead to a license suspension for 180 days if this is your first DWI arrest.

If you do submit to testing and do fail, you may face a license suspension and the test result will be used as part of the prosecution's evidence against you. Without the breath or blood test, it's more difficult for a prosecutor to convict you of DWI.

While, in many cases, you are better off refusing to take the tests, there's no simple answer. Keep in mind that Texas courts have decided that you do not have the right to consult with an attorney before making the decision to refuse or provide a requested specimen.

Talk to an experienced drunk driving defense lawyer

Don't hesitate to contact a Houston Area DWI lawyer for a free consultation. The devices used by police to determine whether or not a driver has more than a .08 blood alcohol concentration are not perfect. If you have been arrested for DWI in Houston Area or elsewhere in Texas, call 1-800-395-5951. Attorney Joseph LaBella can put experience and resources to work for you.