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Can You Refuse a Breath Test?


When driving in Texas, it is important to understand the rules that regulate the roads, including implied consent laws. Every state has its own set of implied consent laws, and the Lone Star State is no exception. 

An officer who pulls you over on suspicion of intoxicated driving may ask you to take a breath test. If you understand the ins and outs of the implied consent laws, it may affect how you handle such requests. 

Implied consent laws 

In Texas, the legislature considers driving to be a privilege and not a right. Implied consent laws state that you are implying that you consent to a breath test any time you use public roads in Texas. Thus, refusing to take a breath test can result in the loss of your driving privileges. 

The consequences of refusing a breath test 

Unfortunately, the penalties for refusing a breath test can be harsh. People who refuse to take a breath test may find that they face worse penalties than their DWI charges would have been. For example, you can have your license suspended or revoked just for refusing to take the test. In some extreme cases, the courts have sentenced individuals to time in jail. 

Finally, prosecutors can use your refusal to submit to the test in court. The prosecutor may use it as a “sign of guilt.” If you want to refuse a breath test because you believe the courts cannot use it against you, this is not the case. 

You should also note that the prosecution may use breath test results in conjunction with other evidence. It does not usually “stand alone.” Thus, even if the prosecutor decides not to use your breath test results in court, it would likely not impact your trial. Between that and the penalties you risk facing for refusal, you may be better off submitting to a breath test.