DWI License Suspension Issues
Driver’s License Suspensions in DWI’s
If you are charged with a DWI, you will have your criminal charge of DWI, but you will also have a civil case to deal with – your license suspension. This civil case is called an Administrative License Revocation (ALR). This typically happens if you fail the breath or blood test, or refuse to take one.
The suspension upon refusal or failure of a breath or blood test begins 40 days after the refusal / failure. You have 15 days to challenge this suspension (from the date of the arrest). This is where you ask for an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing. If you fail to request the ALR hearing within the 15 days, the suspension is automatic on the 40th day after the failure / refusal of the DWI breath / blood test.
Texas Transportation Code 724 covers the legality of the suspension. The State of Texas states that the act of driving a vehicle in Texas implies consent to provide a breath or blood sample to a police officer who has properly requested one. There is no right to consult an attorney prior to deciding to take the test. In serious injury and death cases, the police will force a blood specimen to be taken.
Officer often tell drivers that their license will be suspended if they refuse. They do not explain that they can have a hearing before such suspension takes place to ensure that the request was proper. Officers will take your license and issue a temporary permit that expires 41 days later. If you request an ALR hearing, you are able to request the DPS extend the permit until after the hearing. If you are successful at your hearing, there is no suspension and your Texas license is returned.
Refusal Burdens of State: The burden of the State of Texas in an ALR hearing arising from a DWI is to prove by a preponderance of the evidence (civil case standard):
a) Reasonable suspicion to stop driver and probable cause to arrest
b) Probable cause that defendant was driving, and in a public place
c) That after placed under arrest defendant was given opportunity for breath or blood test with both written and oral notice of consequence of refusal or failure of such tests
d) That driver did refuse blood or breath test upon proper request by officer.
Failure Burdens of State: The burden of the State of Texas in an ALR hearing arising from a DWI is to prove by a preponderance of the evidence (civil case standard): that the defendant did fail the blood or breath test with a .08 or higher test result.
ALR hearings help your lawyer prepare their defense of your DWI. Most defendants do not request the ALR hearing in time because they do not realize the importance of requesting a hearing within 15 days.
In addition to helping you keep your license, the ALR hearing can also help your lawyer obtain valuable information in the reason the officer stopped you in the first place, and the reason he arrested you. This information can be used to help defend your DWI case.
Penalty for Failure:
1) 90 days suspension if no other alcohol / drug enforcements on drivers history in past 10 year period before current offense.
2) One year suspension if one or more alcohol / drug enforcements on drivers history in past 10 year period before current offense.
Trans. Code §524.022 (a) (1-2)
Penalty for Refusal
1) 180 day suspension if no other alcohol / drug enforcements on drivers history in past 10 year period before current offense
2) Two year suspension if one or more alcohol / drug enforcements on drivers history in past 10 year period before current offense.
Trans. Code §724.035 (a-b)
If you have an out of state license, or no license – there will be an order that will keep you from obtaining a Texas license for 180 days.
Cost to reinstate license is $125.00 to the Texas DPS. You must contact the Texas DPS to ensure you have paid all applicable fees and surcharges to reinstate your license upon completion of your suspension. They do not automatically give your license back. You must contact them to verify that you have paid all reinstatement fees and all surcharges.
If you have had a DWI in the Dallas area, you will need a smart and experienced Dallas DWI lawyer to help you through the maze of hearings and court appearances.