Under Texas law, you can be arrested for driving while intoxicated if you’re operating a vehicle on roadways while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The charges for DWI carry a few legal implications, one of which impacts your driver’s license. You do have certain rights to contest the charges, but it’s important to understand the proceedings and what they mean for your driving privileges.
Administrative License Revocation
There are two types of cases involved when you’re charged with DWI, each of which is considered a different matter handled by separate government bodies.
Criminal proceedings for misdemeanor or felony; and,
A proceeding involving your driver’s license and driving privileges, known as the Administrative License Revocation.
ALR proceedings come into play if you either fail to pass a test of your blood alcohol content (breathalyzer or blood test) or if you refuse to submit to testing.
If you agree to the test and don’t pass, this result is used as evidence that you were intoxicated while driving and your license may be revoked.
Your refusal to take a breathalyzer or blood test can also result in license revocation under the Texas “implied consent” law. This rule states that, by being issued a driver’s license, you agree to testing if an officer requests it.
Relevant Deadlines Under ALR Proceedings
There are deadlines imposed by the ALR process that are critical to your case.
Your driver’s license isn’t suspended on the spot when you’re charged with DWI; it becomes effective 40 days after the incident. You can legally drive during this time.
You may request a hearing to contest the ALR proceedings and present any defenses. You must do so, in writing, within 15 days after the incident. If you’re successful at the hearing, your license will not be revoked.
Penalties Under ALR Proceedings
The ALR proceeding can result in a license suspension, which depends on your DWI conviction history.
1st Offense: 90-365 days suspension; and,
2nd and 3rd Offense: 180 days to two year suspension.
Other penalties apply for additional offenses. You may be required to install an ignition interlock device, which prevents your vehicle from operating if it detects alcohol on your breath.
Your Right To A DWI Attorney
You do have the right to have an attorney represent you in connection with your ALR case. It’s smart to have a qualified DWI lawyer on your side, as you can see by looking at the complexity of these proceedings and the severe penalties that can result. The attorneys at Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C. have extensive experience in DWI matters to protect your interests and help you get your license back. Please contact us to speak with a lawyer about your case.