February 15, 2017  | By Bekah Harger

         Attorney Thomas Perkins

Have you ever found yourself face-to-face with the law, unsure what to do or say? Suppose you’ve just been pulled over for suspected drinking while driving. There are many DUI and DWI laws that can often be confusing. It’s important to know your rights, in the event that you find yourself in this situation, before doing or saying anything that may cause more trouble down the road.

To sum it up, driving on the road is a privilege, not a right. When receiving your license, you are essentially agreeing to the rules of the road. One of the things you are agreeing to is that you will consent to a breathalyzer or blood test if asked to do so by police. Most of the time, if pulled over for a DUI or DWI, the breathalyzer or blood test is presented as more of an option and given the option most people elect to refuse the tests. However, if you refuse, your license will be suspended.

Below are some quick tips regarding your rights and the fate of your driver’s license should you be pulled over for suspected drinking while driving in Texas:

Know Your Rights:

  • Ÿ You do not have to answer any questions asked of you by a police officer who pulls you over
  • Ÿ You do not have to tell the officer where you have been, where you are going, or if you have had anything to drink
  • Ÿ You do not have to perform any field sobriety tests that an officer asks you to do
  • Ÿ You do not have a right to an attorney during the DWI investigation
  • Ÿ You do not have to give a breath sample, either in the field or if you are arrested and taken to the police station. However, the officer can apply for a blood warrant to take your blood, which usually only takes minutes to obtain.

Timing is Crucial:

  • Ÿ If you refuse to give a breath sample, or a breath sample shows a BAC above .08, your license will be suspended
  • Ÿ You have 15 days from the date of arrest to request a hearing to save your license, there are no extensions
  • Ÿ If you do not request a hearing timely, your license will be suspended on the 40th day after your arrest
  • Ÿ If you have missed the cutoff, you might be eligible for an Occupational Driver’s License to get to and from work

Because you only have 15 days to request a hearing, it is crucial to obtain legal counsel immediately following an arrest. An experienced DWI defense attorney can save your license if you act quickly. Contact McCathern’s Criminal Defense attorney, Thomas Perkins, if you find yourself facing a similar situation.