IMPLIED CONSENT

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Dallas Criminal Lawyer | Fort Worth Criminal Lawyer 

Texas implied consent law requires drivers suspected of DWI to submit a sample breath or blood for testing.  While every Texas driver has already given consent simply by getting behind the wheel of the car, the law gives every driver the physical ability to refuse to comply, but the consequence of refusal is a longer license suspension.

DIC – 23 & DIC – 24 Warnings

The DIC warning states, “If you give a specimen and analysis shows that you have an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, your license, permit, or privilege to operate a motor vehicle will be suspended.  This warning is not defective even though it does not state that the defendant must have an alcohol concentration of 0.08 at the time of driving.  The legislature did not intend to require a test to show that the defendant was impaired at the time of driving for a license suspension.  The courts have held that the warnings statute therefore does not and should not contain the wording at the time of driving because it does not pertain to whether the defendant was driving while intoxicated.  All law enforcement agencies should have someone translate the waring forms into Spanish as well as audiotape a recording of someone reading the warnings.

The officer who reads the DIC – 24 warnings and requests a sample does not have to be the arresting officer.  And although an officer should be the person giving the warnings, the fact that a civilian (in this car, a breath test operator gives the warnings does not make the defendant’s refusal to take the test automatically inadmissible.  Before a trial court excludes the evidence, the defendant must show a causal connection between his refusal to give a breath specimen and the fact that a civilian gave the warning.  The rule that DIC  – 24 warnings be given in writing does not apply to a case where a breath test was given.  This rule only affects the admissibility of breath test refusals.  A failure to give the warnings in writing is not necessarily fatal, giving only oral and not written warnings to a defendant will not always make the test result inadmissible.

The timing of an arrest in relation to giving the DIC – 24 warnings is flexible; an arrest does   not have to come before the warnings are read.  The requirement that DIC – 24 notice be given in writing is satisfied by making a written copy available to the suspect.