If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated, you probably already understand the gravity of your situation. If not, you will soon enough. Texas authorities waste little of tax-payer’s investment when it comes to prosecuting and processing DUI offenders. If a blood test is administered or requested, you’ll need to decide your fate fairly quickly – which under the wrong conditions – can be costly.
To effectively fend off charges and avoid the loss of freedoms we all enjoy on a daily basis, call the Austin drunk driving defense lawyers at Peek & Toland, PLLC. Our extensive trial experience, thorough understanding of Texas penal codes and dedication to upholding a citizen’s right to a competent defense might be the one thing that stands between you and a very expensive punishment.
What is Implied Consent?
In short, implied consent means by virtue of the fact you are operating a motor vehicle in the state of Texas you are consenting to taking a DWI test via a breathalyzer or blood test. In other words – starting your car means you agree to the process. However, this does not mean you must comply with the request once it is made by a Texas State Trooper, city police officer or local sheriff. In essence, implied consent grants officers the right to ask for your permission to take the test and should you deny their request, penalize you for the refusal.
Can I Refuse the DUI Blood Test?
Despite falling under the idea of implied consent you still have the right, under the Fourth Amendment, to refuse any sort of chemical test to determine your blood alcohol level. In recent years, there were a number of incidents in Texas where individuals were forced or at the very least coerced to provide a sample to arresting authorities. Let us be clear here – law enforcement is only able to force a blood extraction under what is known as “exigent circumstances,” which include:
- The arresting officer has probable cause and obtains a warrant to perform the examination.
- You have prior DWI convictions.
- You were involved in an accident that resulted in injuries to either yourself or another individual.
- You were involved in an accident that rendered you unconscious or dead.
However, even in the most seemingly clear cut situations, a forced blood examination can quickly be called into question. If you were arrested for DWI and were subsequently given a blood test without your explicit consent, contact Peek & Toland, PLLC immediately; the evidence collected could be suppressed and rendered inadmissible.
What is The Punishment for Refusing a Blood Test?
As mentioned previously, because consent is already implied, refusing to take a blood examination will result in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license for 180 days. If this was your second offense in the span of 10 years, it is an automatic 2 year suspension. Additionally, most courts will view refusal as a sign of potential guilt when rendering their judgment. Ultimately, refusing or accepting the test is a personal choice – but in some instances you may fare better by accepting the test and then challenging their validity in open court.
Your One Defense
When faced with a potential DWI conviction it is important to keep one thing in mind – you can see this through. At Peek & Toland, PLLC, we have helped scores of individuals facing such charges, recover their lives and get back on track. Even though the pressure can seem overwhelming at the moment, there is hope – and we can help. Call our office today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation with our DWI defense team. Together, we will help you and your family, combat these accusations and secure your freedom.