Texas DWI License Suspension
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a severe offense resulting in a multitude of consequences. A DWI conviction typically results in criminal, administrative, and civil penalties. The latter of which involves the suspension of driving privileges.
Does a Texas DWI License Suspension Go into Effect Immediately?
If you are pulled over, arrested, and charged with a DWI or refuse a blood or breath test, then the officer will give you a Notice of Suspension. Although the officer will confiscate your physical driver’s license when you are served a Notice of Suspension, your driving privileges will still be valid for 40 days.
You will need to request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing 14 days from the DWI incident and receipt of the Notice of Suspension. If you request an ALR hearing, then your license will remain valid until the date of the hearing, at which time you may have to lose your driver’s license or request an appeal. Delaying a license suspension may help the DWI trial and enable you to have more time to arrange alternative transportation. If you do not request an ALR hearing within 14 days from your arrest, your license is automatically suspended on day 41.
Causes of License Suspension in Texas
In Texas, there are a few situations that will result in a loss of driving privileges. Drivers risk having their license suspended if they choose to drink and drive. If you are 21 years or older, and your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level is 0.08% or greater, you may be charged with a DWI. A DWI conviction will result in the suspension of driving privileges. Commercial vehicle drivers are subject to stricter standards and will be arrested for a DWI if the BAC is 0.04% or greater.
You can be arrested for a DWI regardless of your BAC level if a police officer has reason to believe that your cognitive or physical abilities are impaired due to alcohol or other substances. The police officer must have probable cause before the arrest, and the police officer must have a valid reason for stopping you. If convicted of a DWI, then you will lose your driving privileges.
Texas law includes “implied consent,” which means that you have the right to refuse a Blood or Breath test; however, an officer will give you a Notice of Suspension if you choose to do so.
Since it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to consume alcohol, Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drivers who choose to drink and drive. A person younger than 21 is intoxicated if there is any alcohol in their system, regardless of the BAC level. A minor with a DWI conviction will receive a driver’s license suspension.
Duration of DWI Related License Suspension in Texas
The duration of a license suspension depends on multiple factors, including:
- The driver’s age
- BAC level
- Number of the DWI offense
- Refusal to comply with requests for testing
DWI License Suspension Duration for Adults 21+ Years Old
A first offense DWI conviction will result in loss of driving privileges for a minimum of 90 days, up to a maximum of 1 year. Second and third DWI convictions will result in driver’s license suspension up to a maximum of two years.
Refusal to comply with an officer’s request for a breath or blood testing will result in 180 days of license suspension for a first offense and up to two years suspension for a repeat offense.
DWI License Suspensions Duration for Minors Under Age 21
A minor’s license will be suspended between 60 and 120 days if convicted of a first DWI. Subsequent underage DWI convictions will result in 180 days of license suspension.
A minor will lose driving privileges for 180 days the first time they choose to refuse an officer’s request for a blood or breath test. The suspension period will increase to two years duration for subsequent testing refusal.
Since it is illegal for a minor to purchase, obtain, or consume any amount of alcohol, a minor may endure a license suspension without refusal or testing if there is alcohol present in the motor vehicle.
If you have been arrested…
Your FREEDOM is potentially at stake. A conviction can have a huge impact on your job, relationships, and your future. You need to act fast.
Proven Defense by a Former Law Enforcement Officer
Many people who are charged with an Austin DWI just assume there is no way to fight it. They think the best they can hope for is a smaller fine or a reduction in the amount of time they lose their license. We focus on defending anyone accused of a DWI. With the right legal counsel, there are other outcomes. Depending on the facts of the case, what if…
- Instead of months of suspension, you don’t lose your license at all?
- Instead of making a deal for probation, you never get convicted?
- Instead of having a DWI conviction, your record stays clean?
- Instead of cutting bad deals, you get a vigorous DWI defense?
While every case depends on the facts and circumstances at play, mounting an aggressive defense to DWI charges may be your best option. The Austin Criminal Defense attorneys at Stephen T Bowling, P.C., handle all drunk driving cases, defending clients in both the criminal proceedings and driver’s license hearings.
Don’t trust just anyone with your Austin DWI defense. Contact the law firm of Stephen T Bowling, PC, by e-mail or call us at 512-599-9000 to schedule your free consultation with an Austin DWI lawyer to discover some strategies we pursue in defending Austin Driving While Intoxicated cases.
We offer payment plans and accept major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a severe offense in Texas. On average, DWI related car accident resulting in injury or death occurs every 20 minutes. Driving While Intoxicated is extremely risky, impaired thinking and coordination pose an enormous risk to the driver, passengers, and surrounding vehicles or structures. The best way to prevent a DWI is to plan ahead: don’t drink and drive, arrange for a ride-share company to give you a ride home, stay the night, or have a designated driver.
It is crucial to be aware of the DWI laws in Texas. If you are already facing a DWI charge, it is essential for you to understand the law and to consult a DWI defense attorney. Under Texas law, a DWI occurs when a motor vehicle driver is affected by:
- Mental or physical impairments due to the use of alcohol, drugs, or other substance
- BAC > 0.08%
Refusal to comply with an officer’s request for a field sobriety test or breathalyzer test will result in a suspension of driving privileges for up to 180 days for a first offense. A second offense of refusal will result in driver’s license suspension for a period of up to two years.
How to Get Your License Reinstated
If you are served with a Notice of Suspension due to a DWI charge, you need to contact a skilled DWI defense attorney immediately. You must submit a request for an ALR hearing 14 days of receiving the Notice of Suspension. The ALR hearing will be scheduled within 120 days; your driving privileges will remain in effect during this waiting period.
During the ALR hearing, the judge will listen to all involved parties and consider the evidence in the case. If the judge determines that the case against you is valid, then the suspension will go into effect. You may be able to appeal the decision. If the judge decides the case against you is invalid, then your license will not be suspended.
If your license is suspended, you will be required to wait the allotted amount of time, and then you may be eligible for reinstatement. You may need to attend an Alcohol Education Program. You may also be required to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in your vehicle and maintain an SR-22 Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate. There is an annual reinstatement surcharge of $2,000 for three years, which you will need to pay to keep your license. The reinstatement fee for minors is $100, although other fees may apply.
The loss of driving privileges can have far-reaching consequences that may make your daily life more challenging. If you face a DWI charge in Texas, you need to contact an experienced DWI attorney as soon as possible.
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