Since it is treated as a civil matter, double jeopardy does not apply. Unless one is found not guilty by a jury, the DPS can still suspend a motorist's license even if the DWI case is dismissed.
Since it is treated as a civil matter, a motorist arrested for DWI does not have the right to consult with an attorney before deciding whether or not to submit to a breath test.
But how does the following statement fit within that legal fiction?
"If you refuse to give the specimen, that refusal may be admissible in a subsequent prosecution. Your license, permit or privilege to operate a motor vehicle will be suspended or denied for not less than 180 days, whether or not your are subsequently prosecuted for this offense." -- DIC-24A license suspension certainly sounds like a criminal sanction and this nonsense about a refusal being admissible in a criminal prosecution exposes this legal fiction for what it is -- a cheap end run around the 5th and 6th Amendments.
At the point an officer asks a motorist to submit to a breath test, that motorist is already under arrest for drunk driving. At that time the motorist is sat down in front of the breath test machine, he isn't free to leave. No matter his response, the answer is testimonial. That triggers the 5th Amendment. As being asked to submit to a breath test is a significant moment in a DWI investigation, that should trigger the motorist's 6th Amendment right to an attorney.
Would the presence of an attorney gum up the works? Yep. Might allowing a motorist to consult with an attorney before deciding whether or not to blow result in more informed decisions? You bet. Would the presence of an attorney reduce the intimidation factor at the station house? Without a doubt.
It's time to end this legal fiction in Texas. Either eliminate the civil proceeding or be honest and criminalize breath test refusals. But doing that might just expose the legal fiction for what it was.