What Happens to Your License When You’re Arrested for a DWI?
In Texas, you may be arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or higher. You may also be arrested if you’re under the influence of a prescription drug or an illegal substance that has caused you to lose the normal use of your mental and physical faculties.
When clients come to our office for representation on a DWI, a frequent question is “What about my driver’s license?” The driver’s license suspension is a civil process. It is handled separately from the criminal case. Your license may be suspended pursuant to the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) program governed by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Important things to remember
Upon confiscation of your license, the arresting officer will provide you with a copy of a Temporary Driving Permit. This will allow you to drive for approximately 40 days from the date of arrest. Keep that document with you when driving.
If you consent to a blood or breath test, you may keep your license until the results of the lab analysis of your BAC come back. This may be a good place to point out that it isn’t YOUR choice of test. The officer may request a blood sample or a breath sample. If the officer asks for a sample of your blood, you may respond that you will give a sample of your breath but not blood. That is considered a refusal to provide a specimen. (I’ll get to that in the next paragraph.) If you provide the requested breath or blood sample and the lab analysis comes back showing a BAC of .08 or higher, your driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days. You will receive a notice from DPS that your license has been suspended. You have 20 days from the date of that notice to request an ALR hearing.
Time is of the essence
If you refuse to submit to a breath or blood sample, law enforcement will often get a warrant for your blood. If that lab analysis shows a BAC of .08 or higher, your license will be suspended for 180 days. If refuse to provide a breath or blood sample, you will receive a suspension notice from the arresting officer. You have 15 days from to request an ALR hearing to contest the suspension of your license. So once arrested, the clock is ticking.
The ALR hearing can take up to 120 days to be scheduled. It’s crucial to subpoena the law enforcement officer and to request discovery from DPS.
Upon reinstatement of your license, you will owe $125 to DPS along with any other fees that may be owed.
This is a complicated process with strict deadlines. You may try to handle it yourself by going to the DPS website. However, Linzer & Gaines Attorneys at Law handles these hearings regularly for our clients charged with DWI. If you are faced with a DWI, let us represent you.
If you’ve been arrested for a DWI in Conroe or surrounding areas, please do not hesitate to contact us today. We’re here to help.
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