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The right to refuse field sobriety tests in Texas

On Behalf of | May 29, 2023 | DWI |

Driving under the influence is a serious offense, with laws in place across the country to discourage and punish such behavior. In Texas, law enforcement commonly uses field sobriety tests to gauge if a driver might be under the influence. However, drivers may wonder if they can refuse these tests.

Learn more about the right to refuse field sobriety tests in Texas and the potential consequences.

What are field sobriety tests?

Field sobriety tests are a series of physical and cognitive tasks that police officers use to assess a driver’s level of intoxication. These may include the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk-and-turn test and the one-leg stand test.

Who has the right to refuse?

In Texas, a driver has the right to refuse to perform field sobriety tests. These tests are voluntary, and law enforcement must inform the driver of their right to refuse.

What are the potential consequences of refusal?

While drivers have the right to refuse, officers may use that refusal as grounds to arrest the driver on suspicion of driving under the influence. If arrested, the driver may face a breath or blood test at the station.

What is the implied consent law?

It is important to note that Texas has an implied consent law. This means that by obtaining a driver’s license, drivers automatically consent to chemical tests (breath or blood tests) if arrested for suspected driving under the influence. Refusing these tests can result in license suspension.

Understanding the right to refuse tests and the implied consent law can help drivers make informed decisions. However, the best way to avoid these complications is by not driving under the influence, ensuring the safety of all road users.