Dallas DWI Lawyer Answers Can You Refuse a Breath or Blood Test in Texas for DWI?

A new Supreme Court decision may have changed the answer to that question, states John Helms Dallas DWI lawyer.

Until a few weeks ago, Texas drivers could refuse to consent to a blood or breath test in connection with a DWI arrest, says Dallas DWI lawyer John Helms, except that refusal would usually result in loss of driving privileges under Texas’ implied consent law.  If you refused to consent, the police would have to get a search warrant to take your blood.

A new decision by the United States Supreme Court changes the landscape, though.  In Birchfield v. North Dakota, the Supreme Court held that the police still need a search warrant before they can take your blood over your objection.  The Court held that the same is NOT true for breath tests, which are less intrusive because they don’t involve sticking a needle in your arm and drawing blood from your body.

For breath tests, the Supreme Court said that the police can demand a breath test as part of a DWI arrest without a warrant complicating drunk driving defense.  The Court also said that states could make it a crime to refuse to give a breath test, which some states have done, including North Dakota in that particular case.

Texas does not currently make it a crime to refuse a breath test, although as noted earlier, a refusal usually means you lose driving privileges.  And as noted above, if you refuse, the police can try to get a warrant to force you to provide a blood sample.  But after the Birchfield decision, it would not be surprising if the Texas Legislature passes legislation making it a crime to refuse a breath test.

The law in this area is complicated and changing.  If you are arrested for a DWI, you should contact the best DWI attorney you can that handles DWI cases as soon as possible in order to protect your rights.

If you or someone you know has been arrested DWI and need a skilled drunk driving defense or are facing other charges, contact Dallas DWI lawyer John Helms immediately. Call 214-666-8010.