For law enforcement to pull you over they typically need reasonable suspicion that a criminal offense has or is occurring. If a driver is speeding, swerving, or driving with noticeable defects, these could all be reasons for a traffic search.
For a police officer to make an arrest for DWI, they must have probable cause. This is a burden of proof that goes beyond reasonable suspicion. One of the key methods law enforcement employ for this is the chemical Breathalyzer test. If you’re asked to take one, do you have to?
Driving is a privilege and not a right
While driving is by far the most popular mode of transport and feels almost automatic to seasoned road users, it is a privilege and not a right. There is no guaranteed right to drive legally on Texas roadways. You have to first take a test and apply for your license. To obtain your driving license you hand over implied consent to take a Breathalyzer test if stopped on suspicion of DWI.
What if you refuse?
Refusing to take a Breathalyzer can result in severe criminal penalties. Your driving license can be suspended on the spot. In some cases, this suspension can last up to two years.
You do have legal rights
Perhaps you had a perfectly good reason not to take the Breathalyzer test, such as health issues. Or officers may have subjected you to a traffic stop without first having reasonable suspicion. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. Having some legal guidance behind you will help ensure that your rights as a citizen in Texas are upheld.