Operating a vehicle while under the influence can be quite dangerous for all parties involved. As such, lawmakers and law enforcement work diligently to crack down on those who partake in such activities.
If you or a loved one are pulled over on suspicion of a DUI or DWI, such charges can have hefty penalties. One way of avoiding them may be to refuse testing; however, you should know a few things about asserting that option.
Implied consent law
In several states, including Texas, the implied consent law is in place. This law states that once a party is under arrest for a DUI charge, that party automatically consents to a drug test. If the arrested party refuses to submit to the test, that person faces strict penalties. However, it is important to understand that this process applies when a party is under arrest for a criminal offense.
Duty of the officer
The officer must inform you of the penalties you may face by refusing to take the drug test before asking you to take it. If an officer does not follow this protocol, even when parties have a high BAC, they may be able to fight the charges. Therefore, this is a critical element of the process.
If you refuse
The penalties for not adhering to the implied consent laws vary depending upon the DUI or DWI offense. First-time offenders may face a license suspension of up to 180 days, while those who have previous offenses within 10 years may face suspensions of up to two years. It is important to note that even if a party beats the actual DUI or DWI charge, penalties related to the implied consent law still stand.
While refusing testing is your choice, it may not be the best option. Whether you decide to submit to testing or not, it can be quite beneficial to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.