Should I Consent To A Breath Or Blood Test?

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I often have people ask me about whether they should submit to a breath or blood test if stopped for a DWI.  As always, the answer depends on a number of factors. 

First, If you haven’t been drinking alcohol, submitting to a breath test is likely a good decision for you.  The same is true if you have drank a small amount of alcohol but also took other substances that wouldn’t show up in a breath test.  Breath tests are not able to detect other drugs of abuse like marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, etc.  

If you have been drinking there are a couple other things to consider.  In San Antonio and most surrounding counties, If you do not agree to a breath test, the police will often get a warrant for a blood draw.  But we have more things we can fight about in court in the situation that you get a warrant.  Generally helping the State prove the crime against you doesn’t help you out in any meaningful way.  

The last thing to consider is a drivers license suspension.  If you don’t agree to the breath or blood test (it’s the officer’s choice which), then you license can be suspended for 180 days.  If you do agree to a test and fail, that suspension is only for 90 days.  While we can fight the suspension and get you a temporary driver’s license to get to work, for a small subset of people the length of that suspension really matters.  

Ultimately it is a decision that is controlled by individual circumstances about your particular interaction with the officers.  That said, my standing and general advice would be to not comply with any request for a breath or blood test. 

If you have questions about it, you can always give us a call to schedule a consultation with a lawyer.