A traffic stop that involves an officer asking if you have consumed alcohol may result in a DWI charge. Some of the steps you take on the side of the road may determine the type of charge, if any, you might ultimately face. Texas laws attempt to deter drinking and driving, including one that addresses implied consent.
What does implied consent mean, and what ramifications does it present during a DWI stop? Take a look at some of the basics of this law.
What does implied consent mean?
When you obtain a driver’s license, you agree to abide by the laws of the road, including only driving sober. Under the implied consent clause of a driver’s license, you agree to submit to a reasonable request by a law enforcement officer to give a breath, blood or urine sample to ensure you do not have alcohol or drugs in your system.
Does implied consent force you to take a test?
One element of the Fifth Amendment protects you from incriminating yourself if the police suspect you committed a crime. This means you have the right to remain silent, even if asked to take a breath, blood or urine test. Refusal, however, comes with another set of consequences.
What happens if you refuse a test?
Refusing an alcohol test results in an immediate suspension of your license for up to six months. If you have refused a test before or have DWI convictions, you may lose your license for up to two years. This suspension is immediate and continues, even if you never get charged or convicted of a DWI.
Trying to decide what to do in the face of a possible DWI is not easy, but with some basic information, you can make an informed choice on how to proceed.