Driver’s License Suspension In A DWI Case
In Texas, a driver can have their license suspended if convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI). The length of the suspension will depend on the case’s specific circumstances. This suspension is significant on multiple fronts. But when charged unreasonably, this can take a heavy toll on your highway movement.
Why Does The Law Allow For Driver’s License Suspension?
Suspending a driver’s license is one way to deter individuals from driving while intoxicated with alcohol or drugs. They cannot legally operate a vehicle, making it difficult to get to work, school, or other appointments. This can be a significant inconvenience and a strong incentive for individuals not to drink and drive.
Additionally, suspended licenses can be a way to protect public safety. When someone is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they are more likely to be involved in a traffic accident, which can cause harm to themselves and others on the road. Through temporary suspension, the number of impaired individuals on the road reduces, which can help prevent accidents and save lives.
Reasons Why Your Driver’s License Is Eligible For Suspension
In a DWI case in Texas, several specific reasons can lead to a driver’s license suspension. Note that the list is not exhaustive, and other particular reasons may lead to a driver’s license suspension in a DWI case in Texas. It’s always important to consult with a defense attorney to understand the specific laws and regulations that apply to your case.
Failing Or Refusing A Breath Or Blood Test
If a driver is arrested for DWI and refuses to take a breath or blood test, their license will be suspended for at least six months.
The law in Texas is based on implied consent, which means that by obtaining a driver’s license, a driver has consented to take a chemical test if suspected of driving under the influence. Refusing to take a breath or blood test is considered a violation of this implied consent and can result in an automatic suspension of the driver’s license.
On the other hand, if a driver takes a breath or blood test and the results show a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, their license is subject to suspension too for 90 days.
The length of the suspension for refusing or failing the test can vary depending on the individual’s driving history and whether they have any prior refusals or DWI convictions. In some cases, the suspension can be longer than six months. Additionally, refusing or failing a test can be used as evidence against the driver in criminal proceedings, as it can be seen as an indication of guilt.
Conviction Of DWI (Adults)
In Texas, if a driver is convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI), their driver’s license will be suspended for a period determined by the court. The length of the suspension will depend on the case’s specific circumstances, such as the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) and whether they have any prior DWI convictions.
If an individual 21 years of age or older is convicted of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), they may be required to complete an Alcohol Education Program, serve a driver’s license suspension, pay a reinstatement fee, obtain a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22), serve probation, and install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle.
Individuals’ driving history and the circumstances of their cases will influence the length of the suspension and the requirement for the Alcohol Education Program. If these requirements are not met, additional penalties can be imposed, and the individual may be unable to continue driving in the future if they fail to comply.
Underage DWI (Minors)
A person under 21 years of age convicted of DWI will have his or her license suspended for one year. Subsequent alcohol-related offenses may result in an 18-month suspension.
In order to renew or issue the minor’s driver’s license, he or she must serve the required suspension period, obtain a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22), pay a reinstatement fee, and take a 12-hour alcohol education course.
If you fail to complete the program, you will be suspended for an additional 180 days and have to pay a $100 reinstatement fee. Additionally, if the convicting court orders community supervision that requires installing an interlock ignition device, the minor may receive a 90-day driver’s license suspension. To be eligible to drive, the minor must apply for an Interlock Restricted driver’s license.
Minors’ other alcohol-related offenses
If a minor is convicted of one of the following offenses, he or she will face a 30-day suspension for the first offense, a 60-day suspension for the second offense, and a 180-day suspension for the third offense.
- Public Intoxication
- Possession of Alcohol
- Misrepresentation of Age
- Consumption of Alcohol
- Purchase of Alcohol
- Attempt to Purchase Alcohol
Possession Of Drugs While Driving
Possessing or using controlled substances while operating a vehicle is illegal. This includes marijuana, cocaine, and prescription drugs if they are not being used as prescribed. If convicted, the individual can face fines, jail time, and a suspension of their driver’s license. The length of the rest will depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the type of drug that was found.
Failure To Comply With Court-Ordered Requirements
If a driver fails to comply with court-ordered requirements, such as paying fines or attending alcohol education classes, their license may be suspended. This is known as an administrative license suspension (ALS) and is separate from any criminal charges that may be filed against the driver.
The length of the suspension will depend on the specific court-ordered requirements that were not met and the driver’s driving history. For example, failure to pay a fine can result in a shorter suspension than failure to attend a court-ordered education program.
Failure to comply with court-ordered requirements is a separate offense from the original DWI or drug possession charge and can result in additional penalties such as fines and jail time.
Your Hearing Rights
Yes, the length of the suspension can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the driver’s driving history. It’s not automatic, and if the driver receives a notice of suspension, they have the right to request an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing, which is a hearing that is held before an administrative law judge to contest the suspension. The Medlin Law Firm has won many of those hearings. The driver can present evidence and cross-examine the arresting officer, and the judge will decide whether the suspension will be upheld.
Within 15 days of receipt of the Notice of Suspension, a request for an ALR hearing must be made. Otherwise, the driver waives their right to the hearing. In some cases, the hearing can be held within a few weeks, but in other cases, it may take several months.
Cross-Examining The Arresting Officer
In criminal cases in Texas, you generally cannot depose witnesses. Depositions are a process of taking a witness’s statement in a civil case, but it is not used in criminal cases. Fortunately, during an ALR hearing, an attorney can subpoena the arresting officer to attend the hearing and cross-examine them under oath. This can be an important opportunity to gather information about the officer’s actions and any mistakes they may have made during the arrest.
During the ALR hearing, the attorney can ask the officer about the legality of the stop and arrest, the administration of the breath or blood test, and any other relevant issues that could benefit the client. The attorney can also present evidence to challenge the suspension and question the officer about any inconsistencies or errors in their testimony.
The hearing usually happens within a few months of the arrest, when the officer’s memory is better, and before the prosecutor has had a chance to coach the officer. The written transcript of the officer’s sworn testimony can be used as evidence in the criminal trial if the case goes that far. This can be beneficial for the client as if the officer made mistakes during the arrest or the administration of the test, the trial judge can rule that the police acted illegally, and the evidence, such as the breath and blood test, cannot be used against the client.
Why Hire An Attorney From The Medlin Law Firm?
The Medlin Law Firm has experience in identifying and disputing procedural errors, half-truths, and outright lies that can be used to challenge the evidence against a client in a DWI/DUI case. An experienced attorney can review the facts of the case, the procedures followed by the police, and the evidence collected, to identify any mistakes, inconsistencies, or violations of the client’s constitutional rights.
The outcome of a DUI/DWI case can vary depending on the case’s specific facts and the attorney’s experience and skill. So, it’s vital to consult with a criminal defense attorney, such as one from The Medlin Law Firm, if you are facing a DWI/DUI charge, as they can help you understand the specific laws and regulations that apply in your case and the options that you have, especially in Texas. They can also help you understand the possible outcomes and consequences of the charges and the legal defense that can be used to fight them