DWI Test Refusal and Implied Consent
Chapter 724 of the Texas Transportation Code is dedicated to the concept of implied consent. This is a type of law used across the United States in which a person essentially agrees to submit to any chemical testing as a condition of being issued a driver’s license.
Despite these laws, it is important for people to understand that they still have the right to refuse to submit to any chemical testing. However, during certain “no refusal” weekends in Texas, law enforcement may obtain a warrant that allows them to collect a specimen without consent. Furthermore, any refusal will automatically trigger a suspension of that person’s driving privileges.
Refusal to Submit Lawyer Denton County
Were you arrested for DWI in Denton County after refusing to submit to chemical testing? You should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney, as you will only have 15 days to request an administrative license suspension hearing to get your driver’s license back.
Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy aggressively clients in the greater Lewisville area against DWI charges, and our firm also serves many nearby areas such as Denton, The Colony, and Westlake. We also served the surrounding counties of Parker County, Wise County and Cooke County. Let us review your case and help you understand all of your legal options by calling 940-222-8004 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Denton County DWI Test Refusal and Implied Consent Overview
- What is implied consent?
- What does a police officer need to tell an alleged offender?
- Is a person allowed to refuse chemical tests?
- How does license suspension work in Texas?
- Are commercial drivers subject to different penalties for refusal?
Texas Implied Consent Law
Under Texas Transportation Code § 724.011, an alleged offender is deemed to have consented to submit to the taking of one or more specimens of his or her breath or blood for analysis to determine the alcohol concentration or the presence in his or her body of a controlled substance, dangerous drug, or other substance if he or she has been arrested for an offense relating to driving while intoxicated (DWI). If a peace officer arrests an alleged offender for DWI and the alleged offender refuses to submit to voluntarily submit the taking of a specimen, the officer can require the taking of a specimen of breath or blood under any of the following circumstances:
- The alleged offender operated a motor vehicle involved in an accident that the officer reasonably believes was caused by the DWI and as a direct result of the accident, a person has died or will die, or an individual other than the alleged offender has suffered serious bodily injury
- The alleged offender has been arrested for DWI with child passenger
- The alleged offender has been previously convicted of or placed on community supervision for DWI with child passenger, intoxication assault, or intoxication manslaughter, or on two or more occasions, he or she has been previously convicted of or placed on community supervision for DWI, flying while intoxicated, boating while intoxicated, or assembling or operating an amusement ride while intoxicated.
Information Police Officers Are Required to Provide in Denton County
Texas Transportation Code § 724.015 states that law enforcement is required to inform an alleged offender orally and in writing of the following:
- Refusal to submit to the taking of a specimen may be admissible in a subsequent prosecution.
- The alleged offender’s license to operate a motor vehicle will be automatically suspended—regardless of whether or not he or she is subsequently prosecuted as a result of the arrest—for not less than 180 days if he or she refuses to submit to the taking of a specimen.
- The officer can apply for a warrant authorizing a specimen to be taken from the person if he or she refuses to submit to the taking of a specimen.
- If an alleged offender 21 years of age or older submits to the taking of a specimen and an analysis of the specimen shows the alleged offender had an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher, his or her license to operate a motor vehicle will be automatically suspended for not less than 90 days, regardless of whether or not he or she is subsequently prosecuted as a result of the arrest.
- If an alleged offender is younger than 21 years of age and has any detectable amount of alcohol in his or her system, his or her license to operate a motor vehicle will be automatically suspended for not less than 60 days. If the alleged offender younger than 21 years of age submits to testing and an analysis of the specimen shows that he or she had an alcohol concentration less than 0.08, he or she may be subject to less severe criminal penalties.
- If the officer determines that the alleged offender is a resident without a license to operate a motor vehicle in Texas, the department will deny to the person the issuance of a license, regardless of whether or not he or she is subsequently prosecuted as a result of the arrest.
- The alleged offender has the right to a hearing on the suspension or denial within 15 days of notice of the suspension or denial.
Right of DWI Test Refusal in Texas
If an alleged offender refuses to submit to testing, then Texas Transportation Code § 724.013 prohibits a specimen from being taken by a peace officer. When an alleged offender refuses, Texas Transportation Code § 724.031 states that the peace officer shall request the alleged offender sign a statement indicating the following:
- The officer requested that the alleged offender submit to the taking of a specimen
- The alleged offender was informed of the consequences of not submitting to the taking of a specimen
- The alleged offender refused to submit to the taking of a specimen
Certain specified parties may be authorized to collect specimens from people who are otherwise incapable of refusal. An alleged offender who is dead, unconscious, or otherwise incapable of refusal may be considered as not having withdrawn their informed consent.
Denton County Administrative License Suspension
If an alleged offender refuses to submit to a chemical test, then the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) under Texas Transportation Code § 724.035 will suspend the alleged offender’s driver’s license for 180 days or issue an order denying the issuance of a license to the alleged offender for 180 days if the person is a resident without a license. If the alleged offender’s driving record shows one or more alcohol-related or drug-related offenses in the preceding 10 years, then the period of suspension or denial is two years. This suspension or denial takes effect on the 40th day after the date on which the person receives notice of suspension or denial or is considered to have received notice of suspension or denial.
The State Office of Administrative Hearings will hold a hearing if it receives a request for a hearing within 15 days of the alleged offender receiving notice of the suspension or denial. Texas Transportation Code § 724.048 states that the determination of the department or administrative law judge is a civil matter independent of criminal charges that does not preclude litigation of the same or similar facts in a criminal prosecution.
Refusal Penalties for Texas Commercial Drivers
Under Texas Transportation Code § 522.081(b)(3), an alleged offender who possesses a commercial driver’s license (CDL) will be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for one year if he or she refuses to submit to chemical testing after allegedly operating any motor vehicle, including a commercial motor vehicle, while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Furthermore, Texas Transportation Code § 522.101 states that any person who refuses to submit to an alcohol test will be placed out of service for 24 hours and unable to operate a commercial vehicle.
Find A Refusal to Submit Lawyer in Lewisville
If you were arrested for DWI in Denton County after refusing to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test, you will want the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Richard C. McConathy and Brian A. Bolton have a 91 percent success rate since 2002 on cases announced ready for trial.
Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy helps Lewisville residents as well as surrounding communities like Little Elm, Grapevine, Argyle, Highland Village and Flower Mound. Let our firm provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free consultation by calling 940-222-8004 today.