Do I Have to Submit to DWI Testing if I’m Pulled Over?
If you are pulled over by a police officer for suspicion of DWI, you may be asked to submit to DWI testing. Below is an overview of your legal rights and obligations regarding DWI testing in Texas.
Field sobriety tests
If you are pulled over for suspicion of DWI, the officer may ask you to perform a series of exercises called field sobriety tests. During these tests, the officer will observe you for signs of intoxication, which may include:
- Swaying or staggering
- Delayed responses
- Imperfect responses to the tests
Some common field sobriety tests are:
- The horizontal gaze test – This test involves the DWI suspect following an object, such as a pen, using only his or her eyes. During this test, the officer looks for involuntary eye movements that indicate intoxication.
- The one leg stand – This test involves the DWI suspect standing with his or her feet together and raising one foot approximately six inches off the ground while counting out loud.
- The walk and turn – This test involves the suspect taking a series of heel-to-toe steps forward.
Do I have to submit to field sobriety tests?
You have the right to refuse any and all field sobriety tests that you think may incriminate you. If you are stopped for suspicion of DWI and asked to perform field sobriety tests, politely inform the officer that you’d like to contact a criminal defense attorney prior to performing any tests.
Breath and blood tests
If you’re pulled over for suspicion of DWI, you may be asked to provide a breath or blood sample. When the officer makes this request, he or she will typically provide you with a form that explains the consequences if you refuse the test. Consequences for refusal include:
- Suspension of your license, and
- Admission of your refusal into evidence in a subsequent DWI prosecution.
Importantly, this form explains that you have a right to refuse any blood or breath test. However, if you refuse either test, the officer may request a search warrant from a judge to take a blood sample. If a warrant is issued, you must submit to the test. Even if a warrant is issued, though, subsequent review by an experienced criminal defense attorney may result in the suppression of the results from evidence.
Texas DWI and DUI Legal Representation
Due to the severity of the consequences, legal representation is imperative when facing DWI or DUI charges. Therefore, if you’ve been charged with DWI or DUI in Texas, it’s important that you engage the services of an experienced Texas criminal defense firm in order to achieve the best possible results in your case. Phil Baker, P.C., has a proven track record of successfully defending clients against DWI or DUI charges throughout the state of Texas. Whether it’s challenging the accuracy of a DWI or DUI test or uncovering potential civil rights violations, our experienced criminal defense attorneys will work to protect your driving record and achieve the best possible outcome. Please contact us for a consultation.