Can you refuse to take a breath test?

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2022 | DWI Defense

You may not want to take a breath test if you get pulled over. In some cases, this could be because you know you were drinking and you suspect you’ll fail the test.

But it could also just be that you’re worried about incriminating yourself through something that’s no fault of your own. For instance, some people are given false positives because the blood test hasn’t been calibrated properly by the police officer. You may want to avoid these types of issues by simply refusing to take the test on the side of the road or at the station, depending on if it’s a breathalyzer or a portable breath test.

You’re still going to lose your license

It is within your rights to refuse this test if you want. There are very few situations where you can be compelled to take the test against your will.

But that does not mean that the police are going to let you go. If you refuse to take the test, the officer is going to presume that you are impaired and they’re going to make the arrest at that time. In theory, they’ll already have some other supporting evidence, which is the reason that they pulled the car over in the first place.

After that, due to implied consent laws, you’re going to be subjected to a license suspension. This would also happen if you were convicted of drunk driving, of course, but you don’t need the conviction to lose your license if you refuse to take the test. In Texas, this suspension typically lasts for 180 days, though there is a short window in which you can appeal it. 

You can see how complicated the situation can be and how it’s going to have a big impact on your future. You need to know exactly what legal steps to take to protect your future interests.

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