If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) you will face two pressing issues – the criminal penalties and the loss of your driving privileges.
The prospect of losing their driving license comes as the greatest shock to many people who are charged with DWI. As well as the criminal case, they will face an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) proceeding. The hearing is triggered by either a driver’s refusal to submit to a breath or blood test or by an alleged failure of a breath or blood test. Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) outlines the administrative license revocation process hearing here.
In either case, the suspension of the driver’s license becomes effective 40 days after the driver was requested to provide a breath or blood specimen. As soon as you are arrested for a DWI in Texas, the police officer or trooper will take your license and give you a temporary one that will expire on the 41st day.
The ability of the State of Texas to suspend your license is contained in the Texas Implied Consent Statute (Texas Transportation Code §724). The law states that each person who operates a car, truck, motorcycle or another vehicle on the roads of Texas impliedly agrees to provide a breath or blood specimen upon a legitimate request by a police officer if arrested for DWI. The implied consent idea also applies to boats.
Our Tarrant County criminal defense lawyers outline drivers’ license suspension here.
First DWI offenders over the age of 21 can lose their license for up to one year. There may be special requirements like completing an Alcohol Education course if you are under 21.
When the driver who has been accused of a DWI wants to challenge his or her proposed license suspension, Texas law gives the ability to request a hearing. It must be done in writing within 15 days or an arrest.
If you have correctly made the request for a hearing, the licensing authority will stay the suspension. DPS is required to provide the defendant with documentation to prove their license is not suspended until after the hearing if they are stopped by a law enforcement officer. If no suspension is imposed at the hearing, DPS is obligated to return the Texas license to the person arrested.
When a driver fails to make the request within the 15-day deadline, an automatic suspension will become effective on the 40th day after a breath or a blood test was demanded.
Many people think the suspension is automatic, but the suspension for failing a test or refusing a breath or blood test is only inevitable if the driver fails to properly request a hearing to challenge it within 15 days of the arrest.
A Fort Worth DWI attorney can help you through this process and maximize your chances of keeping your driving license. The mere fact of being arrested can lead to the loss of your driver’s license even if you are not convicted.
Helping you with your driver’s license issues is an important part of our DWI defense strategy.
We know that loss of a driver’s license can impact your career and put you on a downward spiral. You might not be able to take your kids to school, and it can lead to family breakups.
At the Medlin Law Firm, we provide aggressive representation to Tarrant County drivers who have been charged with DWIs and DUIs. We know how important your license is to you. Please call us for a free consultation at (682) 204-4066.