If you got arrested for a DWI anywhere in Texas, one of the first things you need to worry about is a driver’s license suspension. There are very few places where Texas drivers can get around without driving a car. Houston and the surrounding areas are not one of those places. When you get a DWI license suspension in Texas, there are a few things you need to consider.
So, what happens to your license after a DWI? The first thing you need to be aware of is the administrative license suspension. Second, is a license suspension as a result of a conviction.
So what happens if you don’t have a driver’s license? Do you still have to concern yourself with any of this? Yes! You do! Because if you don’t have a valid driver’s license, and you don’t request an ALR hearing, DPS will suspend your driving privileges
Administrative License Revocation (ALR)
When you get arrested for DWI in Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety will suspend your driver’s license unless you request a hearing within 15 days of the arrest if you:
- Refused to take a breath test or to give a sample of your blood
- Took a breath test and your BAC was 0.08% or higher while driving a non–commercial vehicle
- Took a breath test and your BAC was 0.04% or higher while driving a commercial vehicle
If you provided a sample of your blood, and the results are pending, then you don’t have to worry about a license suspension unless your results show a BAC higher than 0.08 (or 0.04 if driving a commercial vehicle). If your blood results show an alcohol concentration over the legal limit, then DPS will mail you a letter of suspension. You will have 20 days from the date the notice is mailed to request a hearing. If you don’t request a hearing, then your driver’s license will be suspended on day 40 after the day when you are presumed to have received the notice.
What Happens at the ALR Hearing?
During the ALR hearing, the DPS prosecutor will have to present evidence to prove that:
- The police officer had reasonable suspicion to stop you
- The police officer had probable cause to arrest you
- You gave a blood or breath sample and the result was 0.08% or higher OR you refused to give a sample
During the hearing, your attorney can present evidence to challenge the allegations against you. Your attorney can subpoena the arresting officer to come in and testify about the facts of your case.
Will I Have to Pay a Reinstatement Fee for a DWI License Suspension?
If your license is suspended, you will have to pay a $125 reinstatement fee. It is better to pay the reinstatement fee as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the end of your suspension period. DPS is very inconsistent with their processing times. If your suspension period expires your license will remain suspended until DPS processes your payment. Pay your license reinstatement fee online.
How Long Will the DWI License Suspension Be?
The length of the suspension varies based on whether or not this is your first DWI arrest.
For the ALR suspension:
If this is your first DWI arrest:
- It will be 90 days if you blew or consent to a blood draw and your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 or higher
- It will be 180 if you refused to give a sample of your blood and breath
If this is your second DWI arrest
- It will be 1 year if you blew or consent to a blood draw and your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 or higher
- It will be 2 years if you refused to give a sample of your blood and breath
For a minor (under 21 yo), if the result comes back with any amount of detectable alcohol, the suspension period for the first offense is 60 days. Any subsequent offenses carry either a 120-day or 180-day suspension. If he/she refuses to give a sample the first offense carries a 180-day suspension. A second offense will result in a 2–year suspension.
Can I Challenge the Administrative License Revocation (ALR)?
Yes, you can request an ALR hearing within 15 days from the date of your arrest. If you are not ready to hire a lawyer within 15 days of your arrest, you can request a hearing. However, once you get your hearing date, you should hire an experienced DWI defense lawyer that knows how to navigate the intricacies of the SOAH (State Office of Administrative Hearings) Court.
If you consented to a blood draw, and your blood result shows an alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher, you need to request the ALR hearing within 20 days from the date the notice is mailed out to you.
Court Ordered Suspension as a Result of a DWI Conviction
If you get a conviction for a DWI case, in addition to the ALR suspension, you may get a DWI license suspension as well as fines between $3000-$6000. The Court can impose a suspension from 90 days to 2 years, depending on how many DWI charges you have.
What do I do if I get a DWI License Suspension?
Living in Houston, Texas, you need to be able to drive because Public transportation is not the most reliable. So what do you do if your license is suspended? You can apply for an occupational driver’s license. An occupational license is a restricted license that will allow you to drive until your license gets reinstated. The Courts generally impose requirements like installing an ignition interlock device in your car. You can obtain an SR22 to grant an occupational license.
If you have been arrested for a DWI, hire an experienced DWI attorney that will fight for your rights. Andreea Ionescu has handled 1000s of cases involving DWI convictions. She knows DWIs in and out. If there is a problem, chances are she will find it.
Call us at 832-509-0222 for a free consultation of your case.