The implied consent law in Texas, found at Tex. Trans. Code § 724.035, states that if a police officer has probable cause to believe that you have been driving while intoxicated, you automatically consent to chemical testing to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). Essentially, by obtaining a driver’s license and driving on Texas roads, you give your consent to blood, breath, or urine testing if law enforcement officials accuse you of committing DWI.
As a result of the implied consent law, if you are refuse to voluntarily submit to breath, blood, or urine testing to measure your BAC in a case of suspected DWI, you can face additional administrative penalties. If you are convicted of DWI, you will encounter these administrative penalties in addition to whatever penalties you receive for the DWI. Even if you are not convicted of the DWI, you still will face these penalties.
If you refuse to undergo BAC testing voluntarily, the officer can and will get a warrant compelling you to submit to the testing. Furthermore, you are likely to face the following penalties:
- 180 days license suspension for a first offense
- Two-year license suspension for a second offense within ten years
If your license is suspended due to an implied consent violation, however, you may qualify for an occupational license. This type of restricted license allows you to drive back and forth to work legally and to perform essential household duties, despite your license suspension.
You also should know that refusing to take field sobriety tests is different than refusing to submit to chemical tests to measure BAC. Refusing to take field sobriety tests when an officer requests you to do so will not result in the same automatic driver’s license suspension as refusing to take a chemical test. In other words, the state’s implied consent law does not apply to field sobriety testing.
The criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the cases of countless individuals who are facing criminal charges in the State of Texas. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf. As a result, we will strive to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our criminal defense attorneys.