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Old 02-28-2013, 01:25 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, Texas
4,229 posts, read 6,269,379 times
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I know that you are allowed to refuse a field sobriety test when you're pulled over for suspicion of DUI/DWI, but what happens after you refuse?

Anyone have experience with this?
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:03 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
1,530 posts, read 2,483,714 times
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I've read this on a lawyer's website so I'm pretty sure this is true though I'm going by memory. I can't remember the lawyer's name so I can't look it up and provide a link. He's a pretty popular lawyer here in Dallas though so someone may know. His site has a detailed write-up on exactly what to do if you get stopped for DWI.

He says that the only tests you have any obligation to take is breath or blood tests so you should never take any other tests whether you've been drinking or not. If you have been drinking and probably can't pass the breathalyzer, he advises to refuse it. You will lose your license for six months or something like that but it's still better than a DWI. However, there are some jurisdictions like Houston where they can forcibly take your blood if you refuse, so you're pretty much screwed there.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:35 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
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Here it is. Browse around on there a bit. You can easily find similar sites.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:13 AM
 
Location: Oil Capital of America
587 posts, read 756,888 times
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I am not a lawyer. And all that but, you can refuse a field sobriety test and you should always. The test is highly subjective will only work against you. If you are not intoxicated then you should demand a better test to prove that you are not. If you are intoxicated you should refuse all test so the prosecution won't have evidence against you.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:30 AM
rwr
 
Location: Camp Wood, Texas
267 posts, read 493,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soviet View Post
I know that you are allowed to refuse a field sobriety test when you're pulled over for suspicion of DUI/DWI, but what happens after you refuse?

Anyone have experience with this?
Am pretty sure that if you refuse you are going to jail. No such thing as a ticket for "suspicion of drunk driving".
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:42 AM
 
8,047 posts, read 5,518,695 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenshi View Post
I've read this on a lawyer's website so I'm pretty sure this is true though I'm going by memory. I can't remember the lawyer's name so I can't look it up and provide a link. He's a pretty popular lawyer here in Dallas though so someone may know. His site has a detailed write-up on exactly what to do if you get stopped for DWI.

He says that the only tests you have any obligation to take is breath or blood tests so you should never take any other tests whether you've been drinking or not. If you have been drinking and probably can't pass the breathalyzer, he advises to refuse it. You will lose your license for six months or something like that but it's still better than a DWI. However, there are some jurisdictions like Houston where they can forcibly take your blood if you refuse, so you're pretty much screwed there.
Good post and summary of my understanding of the law. Do the police in Texas need a warrant to draw blood or not?
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2,540 posts, read 2,982,180 times
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Here in the Province of Ontario, refusing to blow is the same charge as " Impaired by drugs and or alcohol " so refusing to blow is just dumb. Our lower threshold is .50, and at that level, you get a 30 day suspension and a $500 dollar fine. At .80 its a six month suspension and a $1,000 dollar fine.

Refusing a sobriety test is your right...............BUT the testimony of the arresting officer is still going to be heard, in court, and if the patrol vehicle has a in car video system, with the officer wearing a micrphone, you are toast. Every word that you said is entered as evidence, on video tape.

Simple solution ? Don't drink ANY alcohol and then drive.

The real big cost, here in Canada, for being convicted of drunk driving...... is the cost of getting a new insurance coverage, when your DL is re-instated. The new cost will be about 4 to 5 THOUSAND dollars, for a year of coverage. The act of driving here, without full insurance coverage, is a MINIMUM of 5 thousand dollars upon conviction.

Yes we are serious about how we deal with drunk drivers in Canada, and the section of the Canadian Criminal Code that covers this is national, so it has effect in all parts of our country. We consider it to be a "felony " but we don't call it that. Its an indictable offence, and conviction results in a criminal record that does not go away.

Jim B

Toronto.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Austin
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There are specific weekends where it's announced as "No refusal weekend". For those weekends, you cannot refuse if the police ask you and you'll be taken in for the warrant to take your blood.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:17 AM
 
Location: North Texas
23,387 posts, read 30,531,055 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midessan View Post
I am not a lawyer. And all that but, you can refuse a field sobriety test and you should always. The test is highly subjective will only work against you. If you are not intoxicated then you should demand a better test to prove that you are not. If you are intoxicated you should refuse all test so the prosecution won't have evidence against you.
This. A field sobriety test is highly subjective. I don't drink, so I'd never be busted for DWI...but I might fail a field sobriety test because I have terrible balance/hand-eye coordination. I'd politely refuse the test and say "Please breathalyze me instead."
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:14 AM
 
3,746 posts, read 3,582,539 times
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Quote:
I know that you are allowed to refuse a field sobriety test when you're pulled over for suspicion of DUI/DWI, but what happens after you refuse?
You are taken to jail. You are booked on DWI charges, and your license is suspended for 6 months.
They will give you another opportunity to take sobriety tests, or a breathalyzer at the police station. If you refuse, they have the option of getting a blood draw, which requires a warrant I think but all that means is they page the judge and he immediately authorizes it. Some precincts take that option, some don't.

Then you appear before a judge the next morning who sets your bail. Then you get a court date and you get a billion letters from lawyers who represent you for your subsequent court dates. Then you plead or go to trial 3 months to a year or two later.

If you lose your trial, you are given several fines, several classes, and probably some community service along with a multiyear probationary period.

If you win, then you need to pay your lawyer an extra fee to remove the arrest from your record.

If you are crazy guilty, then you should find a cheap lawyer ($500 or so) who can get you the most lenient plea deal. If you think you are not guilty and can win a trial, then expect to spend about $7-10k on a lawyer. If you lose a trial, expect your fines to be closer to the maximums than the minimums.

The fines for losing will be something in the neighborhood of $1000 for court costs, up to $2000 for penalty, though can be as little as $200, and 2 years or so probation where you will have to report once a month to a probation officer, and pay $50-$100 monthly in fees. You will also usually have to pay an additional $1000 a year for 3-5 years due to a law passed in 2007 or so. I don't remember what it was called.

You usually will not get any jail time if you lose, but sometimes can take jail in lieu of fines, and jail is usually done on a 2/1 or 3/1 basis, which means for every day you spend in jail, it counts for 3 days. So if they say your penalty is 9 days in jail, you will actually spend 3 days there.

Last edited by TheOverdog; 02-28-2013 at 09:32 AM..
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