People who plead guilty to driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses in Texas could face the suspension of their license. A conviction will also temporarily cost someone their driving privileges. A first DWI will carry a license suspension as a criminal penalty that lasts for between 90 days and a full year. Those with prior offenses or children in their vehicles when they get arrested will lose their license for a minimum of 180 days.
In some circumstances, drivers can face the loss of their license automatically, possibly before they even go to criminal court. Texas has Administrative License Revocation (ALR) proceedings that can affect your driving privileges after your arrest.
What does the ALR process involve?
If you refuse a breath test
When you refuse to take a test, you will lose your license right at the side of the road. Some people face the suspension of their license because they will not submit to a chemical test when suspected of driving or boating after drinking.
If you refuse the test, the officer will probably take your driver’s license. They may write you a suspension or disqualification notice and give you a temporary driving permit. You then have 15 days to request a hearing or the suspension will begin automatically after your arrest. Your prior record will determine the length of time for which you lose your driving privileges.
If you fail a chemical breath test
When you fail a chemical breath test or a blood test, the Texas Department of Public Safety will mail you a notice of suspension after they receive the test results. You will have a limited number of days from the mailing date of that notice to request a hearing. If you do not, then you will lose your driving privileges automatically, as with breast test refusal cases.
What happens at a hearing?
You have the right to have an attorney represent you at a hearing to protect you from the loss of your license. In theory, you may be able to protect your driving privileges and avoid all of the personal, professional and financial consequences that come from being unable to drive.
Learning more about the penalties for Texas DWI offenses will benefit those recently arrested on allegations of impaired driving.
Juan Pablo Garcia is the attorney responsible for this ad. Primary Practice Location: Uvalde, Texas.