What Is A Chemical Test For DWI Purposes?
When you are stopped and ultimately arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, you may be required to consent to a chemical test. You do not need to submit to a chemical test prior to a lawful DWI arrest, but Texas law does require you to consent once you have been arrested for drunk or drugged driving in the state. Refusal to consent will result in criminal consequences, and under some circumstances, you may be forced to take a chemical test even if you refuse to do so. Yet you might be wondering about the nature of a chemical test, and whether you must consent to an invasive test. An experienced Temple DWI defense attorney can tell you more and can assist you with your defense when you are facing drunk or drugged driving charges.
You Have Given Implied Consent to Be Tested Upon Arrest
Under Texas law, you should know that you have given implied consent—by virtue of driving—to have a specimen taken to determine your intoxication if you are arrested for a DWI offense. Implied consent in most cases does not mean that you cannot refuse to have a specimen taken, but that refusal will have consequences (which we will explain below).
Chemical Testing Can Involve Different Types of Specimens
Texas law allows for the “taking of one or more specimens of the person’s breath or blood for analysis to determine the alcohol concentration or the presence in the person’s body of a controlled substance, drug, dangerous drug, or other substance.”
Consequences for Refusing a Chemical Test
In most cases, a law enforcement officer cannot take a specimen if you refuse to consent. However, refusal to consent will have consequences, which can include a suspension of your driver’s license for anywhere from 180 days to two years. If you are convicted of a DWI, you can face jail time, too. You must be informed of the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test by a law enforcement officer.
Refusal to Take a Test Might Not Prevent the Test in Some Circumstances
Under Texas law, you give implied consent to have a chemical test if you are arrested for a DWI. However, in most circumstances, implied consent does not mean that you can be physically forced against your will to submit to a chemical test. Rather, what it means is that you can face serious consequences for refusing to submit to a test since you have given implied consent. Accordingly, in some cases, a law enforcement officer cannot force you to submit to a chemical test. Yet you should know that there are certain situations in which you could be forced to submit to a test, such as a situation in which you were arrested for a DWI after an accident in which a person was seriously injured or killed, or in circumstances where you have previous DWI convictions.
Contact a Temple DWI Defense Attorney
If you were arrested for a DWI and need assistance with your defense, one of the dedicated and experienced Temple DWI defense lawyers at The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC can assist you.