After an arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, the arresting officer will take your driver's license and give you a temporary driving permit. This temporary permit is only valid for 40 days after the arrest and your driving privileges will be suspended at the end of those 40 days.
If the driver wants to challenge the license revocation, he or she has to request a hearing within 15 days of the arrest. The administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing is the chance for you to challenge the administrative revocation. However, the ALR is separate from the criminal case and if you are convicted of a DWI, your license may still be suspended or revoked.
The license suspension hearing after a DWI can be confusing because a driver has to deal with both the criminal court and the Texas Department of Safety (DPS) to try and keep their driver's license. If you were arrested for a DWI in Odessa, contact an experienced Odessa criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to keep your driver's license.
Texas Driver's License Suspension After a DWI
Under Texas law, your license can be administratively suspended without a criminal trial if you:
- Fail a DWI sobriety test, or
- Refuse to submit a breath or blood test sample after a DWI arrest.
Failing a DWI sobriety test includes having a breath or blood test that shows a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.
Under Texas' “implied consent” laws, your license can be suspended simply for refusing to submit to a breath or blood test. You are considered to have given consent to this rule by driving on Texas roads.
Requesting an Administrative License Revocation Hearing
If you do not request an ALR hearing within 15 days of your arrest, your license will be revoked. If you request an ALR after 15 days of the arrest or notice, your request will be denied by DPS and your suspension will go into effect at the end of 40 days.
It may take somewhere between 30 days and 60 days to schedule an ALR hearing. During this time, the administrative license suspension will be put on hold until after the hearing.
The ALR hearing is conducted before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The judge will hear the parties' evidence and issue a final decision. If the judge finds in favor of DPS, your license will be suspended. If the judge finds in favor of the driver, the driver's license will not be suspended.
License Suspension Period for DWI or Chemical Test Refusal
The license suspension or revocation period will depend on the number of prior DWIs, chemical test refusals, or specific criminal charges.
Failing a DWI Test Suspension Period
- First Offense: 90 Days
- If previously suspended for DWI or chemical test refusal: 1 Year
Chemical Test Refusal Following an Arrest
- First Offense: 180 Days
- If previously suspended for DWI or chemical test refusal: 2 Years
With a suspended or revoked driver's license, individuals may be able to apply for a limited occupational license that allows them to drive to and from:
- School Activities, or
- When performing essential household duties.
Odessa DWI Defense Lawyer
If you've been arrested for a DWI in Odessa, Texas, and are worried about losing your license, the Law Office of E. Jason Leach, PLLC is here to fight for you. E. Jason Leach is a board-certified criminal defense attorney that has dedicated his law practice to defending the accused. To set up a free consultation contact the Law Office of E. Jason Leach today at (432) 552-7000.