Stopped for a DWI? Here’s what happens if you refuse a breath test
If an officer stops you and believes that you’ve been drinking, you need to know what to do to protect yourself. There is no question that the officer will ask you to take a Breathalyzer test and likely field sobriety tests as well. In combination, these four tests are usually enough to convince a court or judge that a driver was intoxicated at the time of an arrest, if one is made.
Your question may be, “why should I take the test if it will result in evidence against me?” and there is one simple answer. When you received your driver’s license, you agreed to take a Breathalyzer test upon request if you were ever stopped by the police. Many people don’t realize this.
What happens if you refuse a Breathalyzer test?
If you refuse to take a Breathalyzer test at the scene, then the officer may ask you to come with them to the station to have a blood test instead. If you also refuse that, then you can expect to have your license revoked.
The program that you’ll be dealing with after that is the Administrative License Revocation Program. This program requires the Texas Department of Public Safety to suspend or disqualify your license for failing to take and complete a breath or blood test upon request.
Remember that the loss of your license isn’t all that will happen if you refuse to take the test. If you’re arrested, the officer can eventually get that test and the evidence they were looking for. Additionally, the ALR program is a civil administrative process, not part of the criminal court proceedings that you could face if you’re accused of a DWI.
At the scene, the officer may take your license and issue a suspension notice. You may also be able to receive a temporary permit to drive. However, you will have only 15 days to request a hearing to appeal the loss of your license. In that time, it may be a good idea to learn more about your legal rights and how you can protect your license and fight any DWI charges that you may face.