What Happens If I Refuse To Give A Breath Or Blood Specimen?
At the conclusion of a DWI investigation, after either you have refused to take the field sobriety test or you have completed the field sobriety tests, if the officer chooses not to let you go and chooses to arrest you for a DWI, you will be requested to give 2 types of specimens in Austin, Texas. The first one that the officer is going to request of you is going to be the one that he will give you in the field before you are transported to the jail. He is going to pull out a small device about the size of a cell phone which is a preliminary breath test. It’s going to have a tube that they are going to add to it that’s never been used before so it’s sanitary and they are going to request — they will basically put it in your face — and ask you to blow into the tube. They are going to tell you that this device and the results of it do not have an effect on your driver’s license and that is true. As experienced DWI defense attorneys in Austin, Texas, we totally understand how breath tests are carried out and the issues that may come up in conducting these tests. The DWI Attorneys and Lawyer at the office of Blackburn Betts PLLC in Austin, Texas offer Free Consultation to clients.
Furthermore, the preliminary breath test is not even admissible in court except for one limited purpose. So the results of it never come in, never go to a jury, but it can be used to show the presence of alcohol on your breath. So if you show a positive result for any amount of alcohol, then it can show that you did in fact, have some amount of alcohol on your breath. In Austin, most officers when they are called to testify will testify that they do this test not so that you could exonerate yourself, it’s not to use it as evidence, it’s because their chief asks them to. I believe that the other reason they do this nearly every DWI case is that while this is not admissible in court, the reason it is not admissible is because it has not scientifically been validated and those preliminary breath tests are not valid enough to be able to reach the standards for the admissibility of evidence in court, but if they get enough data then maybe in the future they could be admissible. I think that’s why they do it for the most part.
Refusing that test won’t have an effect on whether or not they are going to arrest you in most circumstances, and it will not affect your driver’s license and whether or not your driver’s license gets suspended, but after they arrest you, after they put you into the back of the cop car they are going to read you a set of forms called the DIC 24 and 25 forms which are Department of Public Safety forms which relate back to something you may not originally remember from when you got your driver’s license. When you originally got your driver’s license, there was a portion where you said, in signing on the documentation that if you were pulled over for a DWI offense, that you would then and there, at the time you got your driver’s license agree to consent impliedly to submit a specimen for alcohol analysis of your breath or blood if requested by the police officer.
So the officer reads a warning about that very thing. It’s about a page long and it takes a couple of minutes to get through and they have to read it exactly as the wording in the statute says, so they are going to either do it very carefully or they are going to play you a recording. What it says is basically if you are under 21 and you agree to a specimen and the specimen shows any concentration of alcohol, then your driver’s license will be suspended and that if you are over 21 and you agree to give a specimen and an analysis of that specimen shows a blood alcohol or breath alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher than your driver’s license will be suspended for not less than 90 days, and it will be 90 days unless this more than your first encounter with law enforcement in a DWI context, and you have been previously requested to give a specimen. If you refuse to give a specimen, your driver’s license will be suspended for not less than 180 days. The DWI defense attorneys at our office in Austin, Texas fully understand the issues that come up when the officer does not follow the process as required under law. Our DWI defense lawyers and attorneys offer Free Consultation.
They also explain that a refusal to submit to a blood or breath test is legally admissible in court to attempt to prove that you were intoxicated. This test is the one that matters for the purposes of your DWI case and whether or not you will be found guilty. When we talk about intoxication or what constitutes intoxication, the prosecutor will try to prove their case by saying that you were at or above a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration at the time of driving, and it is this result, the result from the Intoxilyzer 9000, which is the breath test that is given to a defendant in jail in Travis County, in the basement that they will use in court. A blood test can also be used and would be drawn in the basement of the Travis County Jail and send for analysis. Whichever one the officer chooses, it’s this one which will affect your driver’s license and which will be admissible in court. Typically, if an officer just suspects alcohol will just ask for a breath specimen, if they suspect involvement of drugs, then they will ask for a blood specimen.
A blood specimen can then be analyzed not only for alcohol but they can also analyze it for drugs. Unfortunately, if you do submit a breath specimen, they do not preserve that specimen. It goes through the breath tube, it gets analyzed by a machine and the machine spits out a result and that’s it. As an attorney we don’t have the ability to have that specimen and take it and analyze it a second time. With blood, they are going to take 2 different vials and one of those vials is for the purposes of re-testing. It is not tested in any way that would potentially contaminate it when they do their testing. That’s the one that we can retest and so while most people might think that if they’ve got you on blood you are really in trouble, I think, quite the contrary, I would much rather personally defend it with a blood case because there are so many more things that can go wrong in a blood case with the blood and it’s actually something we can re-analyze, and even start to show the ways in which they fouled up the result that they’re reporting
In almost all cases where we re-analyze the blood it’s not going to come back with the same result as it did from the state lab, and invariably the result will be lower, so in a blood case there are a lot more possibilities of the attack on the result than you might otherwise expect
For more information on Refusing A Breath Or Blood Test In Texas, a free initial consultation is your next best step with the DWI Attorneys and Lawyers at our office. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (512) 478-9898 today. Our DWI defense attorneys in Austin, Texas will be ready to help you.
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