DWI Law in Texas is complex but there are basic things that everyone in Texas SHOULD know about how to act after being stopped by a police officer when the detention turns into the officer's suspicion of you for Driving While Intoxicated.
First, Do You have to blow (give a breath test) or give a blood test? The short answer is NO. You can refuse to take either of the tests. I will address when you will be REQUIRED TO GIVE A BLOOD TEST in another entry addressing when officers seek a search warrant from a magistrate (usually done in cities such as Houston and Galveston on targeted holiday weekends such as July 4th).
Texas Law provides that a person CAN REFUSE a breath test. However, if you refuse (and this is your first arrest) your license will be suspended by DPS for 180 days. Note, that you will likely be charged with DWI as well if other evidence supports your arrest.
If you take the breath test and fail (breath alcohol concentration of .08 or greater) your license will be suspended by DPS for 90 days in cases where this is your first arrest.
Note that in either circumstance you are entitled to challenge the suspension within 15 days after the arrest.
You should contact attorney regarding the specific procedures and details of the applicable law. My purpose in these upcoming blog reports will be to let you know what your rights are and how you are allowed to act when you find yourself in the unfortunate position on the other end of the maglite.
Next up --- do I have to Stand on One Leg? Or do any of the other silly field sobriety tests the Officer asks me to DO?? The short answer is Absolutely NOT. Stay Tuned.
Remember, the 4th and 5th Amendments to the US Constitution protects you from unreasonable searches and self-incrimination.
L. Jeth Jones, II
Houston / Galveston