An administrative license revocation is a possible suspension of your license as a result of having been arrested for DWI. Whenever a person is arrested for DWI, if they fail the breath or blood test or if they refuse the test that the officer requests them to submit to, then they can have a notice of suspension served on them telling them their license will be suspended for up to six months for refusal or three months for a failure on a first time DWI charge for failing or refusing.
Now, if you are arrested and serviced a notice of suspension you are entitled to an administrative license revocation hearing and many times that hearing can be won so that your license doesn’t get suspended; and even if that hearing can’t be won, it’s possible to get an occupational license to cover that period of suspension.
The Texas Department of Public Safety suspends and/or disqualifies drivers who are arrested for DWI or BWI (Boating While Intoxicated) when such drivers:
Refuse to take/fail to complete a breath or blood test or provide a breath or blood test that registers a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.08% and above for drivers driving non-commercial vehicles or 0.04% and above for drivers driving commercial vehicles.
Under the ALR (Administrative License Revocation) program, suspension of driver’s licenses isn’t related to DWI or BWI criminal court proceedings.
Law enforcement officers should administer sobriety tests when they have reasons to believe you are intoxicated. If you fail those tests, you will be placed under arrest for driving while intoxicated or boating while intoxicated.
Step 1: If you fail sobriety tests or refuse to take them, your driver’s license will be disqualified and/or suspended.
Step 2: Your license will then be taken, and a suspension notice will be issued. You will also be given a temporary driving permit.
Step 3: You can request for a hearing to challenge the license suspension. You have 15 days (from date in the suspension notice) to challenge,
Step 4: If you don’t request for a hearing, the suspension will take effect 40 days after the date of arrest.
If you agree to give a blood test, you can keep your license until the test results are out. If they show you were beyond the legal limit, your license will be disqualified and/or suspended.
Step 1: A temporary driving permit/notice of suspension will be sent (mailed) to you.
Step 2: You can challenge suspension within 20 days from date of suspension
Step 3: If you don’t request for a hearing, the suspension will take effect 40 days after the date on the suspension notice.
If reinstated, you must pay a reinstatement fee ($125) to get your driver’s license in addition to any outstanding fees.
If you are eligible for a hearing to contest a driver’s license disqualification or suspension, the Texas Department of Public safety will process and respond to your request using the address you provide on your hearing request or the address on record.
The response will have a date, time as well as location of the hearing. In many cases, hearings are scheduled within 120 days.
All administrative license revocation hearings are done by the SOAH (State Office of Administrative Hearings). During a hearing, an ALJ (Administrative Law Judge) will listen to every party’s evidence before making a determination. If the ALJ is satisfied with the Department’s evidence, he/she will authorize the driver’s license suspension. If the Department fails to prove their case, your license won’t be suspended. The ALJ issues decision after a hearing. Those decisions can be appealed. If appealed, notifications are sent to parties.
Hearings can be requested online, via fax, mail or phone. You should include your name, DOB, current mailing address, driver’s license number, date & county of arrest, home/work telephone numbers, arresting officer, arresting agency, and any other useful information including if you failed the test, refused to take the test or if the test wasn’t requested. You are supposed to provide all requested documents and information so that your record is properly identified. If you don’t observe the timelines required for requesting hearings, your request won’t be accepted, and your license will be suspended.
If you are aged 21 or more, and your license is suspended, you can’t drive for 180 days if it’s your first offense or 2 years if your license has been suspended before for refusing to take a breath or blood test. The same applies if you have been convicted of intoxication manslaughter, intoxication assault, or DWI within the decade preceding your date of arrest.
If you provide a breath or blood specimen that is 0.08 or higher in alcohol concentration, your license will be suspended for 90 days if you are a first offender or a year if you are a repeat offender i.e., you license has been suspended before for refusing to give a breath/blood test or you have failed a breath/blood test before. This also applies to DWI, intoxication manslaughter, intoxication assault, or DWI convictions within the decade preceding your date of arrest.
Minors (individuals younger than 21) face 180 days license suspension for refusing to take tests if they are first offenders or 2 years for repeat offenses like those mentioned above. Minors who fail a breath/blood test face a 60-day suspension for first offenses, 120 days suspension for repeat offenses, and a 180-day suspension for a combination of offenses.
If you get arrested for operating a motor vehicle or watercraft because alcohol presence was measured or detected using other means, you can still get your license suspended for 60 days if you are a first offender, 120 days if you have a record or 180 days if you have a combination of records i.e., previous suspensions for refusing to take breath/blood tests and convictions of DWI, drug offenses, Intoxication Assault or Intoxication Manslaughter.
You need legal help to know how to deal with an administrative license revocation swiftly.