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If You Refuse Consent to a Blood Test, a Warrant May Be Issued

Updated: Jul 9, 2023 @ 2:24 pm

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Like many states, Texas has an implied consent law in effect. This law states that when you obtain a Texas driver’s license, you implicitly consent to having a breath test or blood draw when requested by law enforcement officials during a suspected DWI stop. Texas Transportation Code § 724.011 sets forth the details about the Texas implied consent law.

When You Refuse a Blood Test

Texas law does give you the right to refuse a blood test when asked to do so by a law enforcement official. Nonetheless, there are certain circumstances in which you can be compelled to give a blood specimen.

Under Texas Transportation Code § 724.012(b), a police officer can require a blood test if he or she arrests you for a violation of Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code, which includes the operation of a motor vehicle or watercraft. An officer also can compel a blood test if you were involved in an accident that was caused by an offense under Chapter 49, and the officer reasonably believes that as a direct result of the accident:

  • An individual has died or will die,
  • An individual other than you has suffered serious bodily injury, and
  • You refuse to voluntarily take a blood test.

Under these grounds, then, you have no right to refuse a blood test if you are asked to take one by a law enforcement official.

Warrant Required for Police Blood Draw

Despite the Texas implied consent law, however, you do have the right to refuse a blood test until the officer produces a valid search warrant, signed by a judge. Once the officer produces the warrant, however, you must have your blood drawn in order to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC), whether you like it or not. A blood draw also will detect the presence of drugs in your system, whether they are legal or illegal drugs. If a law enforcement official reasonably believes that you are impaired, he or she is likely to seek a warrant that will require you to give a blood specimen for testing purposes.

Consequences of Failure to Consent

Refusing to consent to a blood test is usually not helpful to the outcome of your criminal case. First, if the law enforcement official gets a warrant to compel a blood test, you will have no choice but to submit to the test. Second, there are mandatory driver’s license suspension periods that apply if you refuse to take a test as requested. A first refusal carries a 180-day suspension, and second or third refusal carries a two-year suspension.

Contact Your Houston DWI Lawyer Today

Houston DWI Attorney Tad NelsonThere are many defenses to DUI charges, even where a blood test has been performed. However, in order to make use of these defenses, you should immediately contact the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, who can help you mount a strong defense to the charges that you are facing.

Whether you live in Clear Lake, Galveston, League City, or Houston, our legal team will help you.

The Law Office of Tad Nelson & Associates

Houston • Clear Lake • Galveston • League City

Houston DWI Lawyer Tad A Nelson is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the TBLS.

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