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What is Implied Consent?

In Texas, if you are arrested for a DWI you are required to submit to a breath test or a blood test. According to Texas' Implied Consent Law, if an officer has probable cause to believe that you were operating a motor vehicle or boat while intoxicated and lawfully arrests you, then you have implicitly agreed to chemical testing. A breath test or blood test will be performed as soon as possible in order to determine your BAC (blood alcohol content), unless you refuse.

What happens if you refuse testing?

If you refuse testing, your refusal could be used as evidence against you in court. However, the officer must inform you of this in writing. If you decide to refuse testing, you must sign the statement to acknowledge that you are aware of the consequences.

Refusal will also result in a minimum 180 day suspension of your driver's license. The officer must also inform you that if you consent to testing and the results indicate a BAC above the legal limit, your driver's license will be suspended for at least 90 days.

If your license is suspended as a result of refusing testing, you will be given a temporary permit that is valid for 40 days from the date of notice. If you want to challenge your license suspension, you have 15 days from the notice date to request a hearing. If you do not win the hearing, your license will remain suspended for 180 days.

Additionally, if you refuse testing for a second time within a ten year period, your license will be suspended for two years. If you choose to request a hearing, contact Fort Worth DWI attorney Paul Previte to aid in your defense.

Although a recent Supreme Court ruling may invalidate the statute, there are several circumstances where an officer does not need your permission for testing if you are arrested. Instances where permission is NOT required include:

  • You were involved in an accident where someone was killed or seriously injured
  • You were involved in an accident that left you unconscious or dead
  • If you had two prior DWI/DUI convictions
  • If you are charged with a DWI/DUI and a child was present in the vehicle