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What happens if a driver refuses to take a Breathalyzer?

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Being pulled over by law enforcement for any reason can be intimidating. If the officer suspects the driver has been drinking, a Breathalyzer test may be requested. The driver may not even feel intoxicated, but still worry that they will be arrested if they take the test. In this situation, drivers in Texas may wonder if they are required to take the test, or what happens if they refuse a Breathalyzer. 

Being arrested despite passing 

Being asked to take a Breathalyzer test can cause panic. If an individual has only consumed about one drink per hour or less, they will usually pass a Breathalyzer. Yet, even if a driver passes the test and is under the legal limit of .08 BAC, they could still be arrested for suspicion of driving while impaired. Officers in Texas can arrest a driver if they believe the driver is a danger to themselves or others.  

Refusal and consequences 

If a driver is pulled over under suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and refuses to take a Breathalyzer test, they should expect to be arrested. The driver will then be taken to the police station for more formal testing and booking. However, if a driver refuses to take a Breathalyzer in Texas, an automatic driver’s license suspension will follow even if they are not later charged with a DWI. 

Help is available 

Being arrested and charged with DWI can be embarrassing and overwhelming. Not only can this type of charge tarnish a person’s reputation, but it may have an effect on their life for years to come. Any individual in Texas who is arrested and charged with DWI has the right to formally contest the charges. An experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can provide invaluable guidance while ensuring the protection of personal rights.