Hire The Best Lawyers In Houston If You’ve Been Charged With A DUI Or DWI
Are you worried about what happens if you are stopped by the police while driving while under the influence? The best lawyers in Houston provide answers to some of the most common questions asked about DUIs in Texas and in Houston, in particular.
Breathalyzer or Blood Test?
According to a U.S. Supreme Court decision, any law enforcement officer may require a driver suspected of driving while intoxicated to submit to a breathalyzer after they are arrested. If the officer wants a blood test, they must have a warrant. The Supreme Court determined that warrantless breathalyzer tests were admissible which means if you are pulled over and suspected of DUI, you can be required to take a breathalyzer. You may refuse, but if you do, expect to be taken to jail.
Police cannot ask you to submit to a blood test without first getting a warrant. This is the result of a 5-3 Supreme Court decision in Birchfield vs. North Dakota. This was a consolidated case heard by the court involving defendant’s rights. The cases involved defendants being threatened with prosecution because they refused to take a breathalyzer test or submit to a blood test without a warrant. The Court determined that there is a difference between a breathalyzer test and a blood test and that a warrant is required for a blood test.
Rationale For The Decision
The Supreme Court ruled that a blood test is an invasive procedure and a breathalyzer test is not. The Court considered the value of each of these tests and their use to law enforcement and determined that under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, a warrant is necessary before law enforcement can administer a blood test. The breathalyzer test, on the other hand, may be required without a warrant.
Justice Alito wrote for the majority. In his opinion essay, he explained that the court recognized that blood tests were much more intrusive than breath tests. He went on to say that in most cases, a breathalyzer test amply serves the interest of law enforcement. The justices, therefore, concluded that in most cases, a breathalyzer test would suffice and there was no need for a warrant. Should law enforcement feel they need a blood test to determine the level of alcohol in the blood, they must have enough probable cause to convince a judge to sign a warrant for the blood test.
Your Rights During A Traffic StopIf you are pulled over for a DWI or a DUI in Houston, you do have the right to refuse a breathalyzer. The law enforcement officer has the right to require you to take the breathalyzer and if you refuse, you will be subject to some pretty significant penalties. Under Texas law, you could have you could your license for a minimum of 180 days up to two years. Without a warrant, however, no law enforcement officer can make you take a blood test. Even if you refuse, if there is no warrant, under both federal and Texas law, you are not subject to other penalties.
If law enforcement requires you to take a breathalyzer test and you do refuse a breathalyzer test or if you fail a test, Texas law allows you to request a hearing. The best lawyers in Houston will be happy to represent you during this hearing. Our lawyers are experienced in defending individuals against DUI and DWI offenses and can help protect your rights. Always remember, even if you are arrested for driving while intoxicated, you still have certain rights.
We Can Help
The best lawyers in Houston for defending against DUI or DWI charges are ready to help you. They are skilled and experienced in this area of the law and will be right by your side throughout the entire legal process. Call Butler Law Firm today to learn your options and protect your rights.