Breath and Blood Tests
Just recently, as of the summer of 2016, alleged offenders of Driving While Intoxicated charges could refuse a blood or breath test in the state of Texas. In most cases, if an alleged offender refuses the test, then he or she loses driving privileges according to state “implied consent” laws. So know that going into it. If you refuse to take the breath test, you will lose your license. If you take it, know that the evidence will be used against you in the court of law if you are found to breath over the legal alcohol limit.
In addition, recent changes in law around blood and breath tests have reached the U.S. Supreme Court and may eventually effect how these tests are administered in the state of Texas. The United States Supreme Court recently ruled in the case of Birchfield v. North Dakota, that police need a search warrant before they can give you a blood alcohol test. The Supreme Court did not make the same ruling in breath alcohol tests. These latter tests are considered less intrusive as they do not require the police officer to poke you with a needle or draw your blood to test it.
Therefore, a police officer in Texas can demand you take a breath alcohol test when he or she has stopped you for possible drunk driving. They do not have to obtain a warrant to ask you to take a breath test, as well. If you refuse, you will lose your license and go to jail. The U.S. Supreme Court also has stated that states could criminalize the refusal of a breath test. Texas currently has not made it a crime to refuse a breath alcohol test, but the new ruling in the highest court of law certainly is paving the way for this to happen in the future.
What you should know: If you are stopped for possible drunk driving and you refuse to take a breath alcohol test, then the officer could use that opportunity to demand you take a blood test.
What is complicated about the breath and blood test laws in Texas is that they are changing often and they sometimes are faulty or collected inappropriately. Your DWI attorney can analyze your case and determine whether the arresting officer collected evidence against you according to the limits of the law. In many Driving While Intoxicated cases, the evidence gathered in a blood and breath test are thrown out. Let your defense attorney determine whether your evidence can stand up in a court of law and free you from a steep fine or criminal record.