What Texas’s Implied Consent Law Means to You
Texas takes drunk driving very seriously and has some of the strictest penalties in the nation for people who choose to get behind the wheel drunk. One of the laws that Texas shares with every other state in the country is the law of implied consent, which applies to lawful arrests made at the scene of a DWI stop.
What is Implied Consent?
The implied consent law states that by applying for your driver’s license in the first place, you consent to taking a blood or breath test (or tests) to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) if you are lawfully arrested by a law enforcement official who has probable cause to believe you have been operating a motor vehicle under the influence. This means that you have already agreed to take one of these tests before you have even been asked.
The arresting officer must choose which type of test you take and ensure that it is administered to you as soon as possible after your stop. After taking the officer’s chosen test, you are free to have a blood test taken within two hours of being arrested and have the test administered to you by a medical professional you have chosen.
For people who refuse to take a chemical test, there are consequences. For first-time offenders, a refusal will result in an automatic 180-day suspension of their license. Repeat offenders can receive up to two years of license suspension. While a refusal may buy the driver time, eventually a blood test warrant will likely be issued to allow the test.
What if the Person Who Hit Me Refuses to Take the Test? Will I Still Have a Case?
If a drunk driver hit you, refusing to take the test will not allow them to get off scot-free. Many judges will use the driver’s refusal to test as evidence that their BAC level exceeded the state limit of 0.08%.
While drivers usually have the right to refuse a DWI test, there are a few exceptions where they will be forced to test. If the driver seriously hurt or killed someone in your car, they will be forced to submit to a test. If the driver suspected of being drunk was knocked unconscious or killed in the accident, consent is assumed and they will be tested.
If you have been hurt by a driver that you suspect was drunk and they refused to take the test, our attorneys can help you make sure that justice is served. Simply call our office today, or fill out our online contact form to be put in contact with us.