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What is Implied Consent?

You may not be aware of it, but when you accepted your driver license, you consented to providing a specimen of your blood or breath if you are ever suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs under Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code.

Each state has enacted what’s an “implied consent” law and Texas is no different. Under Section 724.012 of the Texas Transportation Code, one or more specimens of your blood or breath may be taken at the request of a peace officer if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that you were driving an automobile or watercraft in a public place while intoxicated (by drugs or alcohol).

Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test

“What if I don’t want to give a sample of my blood or breath?” Well, if you refuse a chemical test when you’re suspected of driving while intoxicated (DWI), the following will occur under Sec. 724.035 of the Transportation Code:

  • Your driver licensewill be suspended for 180 days, or
  • If you don’t have a driver license, you will not be able to obtain one for 180 days.

Note:If you have one or more drug or alcohol-related convictions on your driving record within the previous 10 years and you refuse a blood or breath test upon an officer’s request, your driver license will be suspended for two years.

Are There Exceptions?

You’d think that if a driver was unconscious or dead, maybe the cops wouldn’t take a sample of their blood or breath, but that’s not the case. Under Sec. 724.014 of the Transportation Code, if someone is unconscious, dead, or otherwise unable to consent to a blood or breath test, they are not considered to have withdrawn their consent. In other words, the police have the right to obtain a sample anyway.

Suppose someone was in a fatal crash and they died at the scene. In that case, a blood specimen can be taken by the county medical examiner or a licensed mortician to determine if the person was intoxicated before the fatal crash.

Related: What if I Hurt Someone While Drunk Driving?

Facing DWI charges? Contact our firm immediately to schedule a consultation with a Plano DWI attorney.