DWI License Suspension

Adminstrative License Revocation – ALR Hearings

Anyone who is stopped for driving under the influence in Texas will be read specific rights pertaining to their driver’s license. Texas has an implied consent rule which means if you are stopped and suspected of a DWI you will be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test. Before you refuse, you are supposed to be told what rights you have both orally and in writing. You should also be informed that refusing such a test could result in your license being suspended.

Requesting a Hearing After an Arrest

Once you have refused a breath test, or failed a breath test, the arresting officer will confiscate your license. However, they must also give you a temporary permit that is good for 41 days after the date of your arrest. It is imperative to contact a Texas DWI attorney immediately and request an administrative hearing. This request must be submitted within 15 days after your arrest.

Understanding Administrative Hearings

Unlike the criminal proceedings you will be facing, administrative hearings are chaired by an Administrative Law Judge versus a criminal court judge. The hearings are designed to address specific issues including:

  • Probable cause – the arresting officer must explain the reason they stopped you initially.
  • DWI tests – the hearing will determine whether you were informed about the risks of refusing a test and whether you refused to submit or complied with the request.
  • BAC results – if you submitted to the test the results will be submitted during the hearing.

Keep in mind, you have the right to have an attorney with you at this hearing. Your DWI attorney will have the opportunity to ask questions of the arresting officer as well as challenge the results of any breath or field sobriety tests.

The judge, in this case, will issue a final determination. When the arresting officer fails to show or the judge believes there was no legal cause for the initial stop, your license may be reinstated. Either party involved may appeal the final decision.

Unsuccessful Hearing Results

Should the Administrative Law Judge find against you, your driver’s license may be suspended for up to 180 days if this is your first offense and you refused to submit to a chemical test. If this is your second offense in 10 years, you could lose your right to drive for up to two years. If you took the chemical test and failed, your license can be suspended for 90 days for a first offense and up to one year for a second offense.

Under Texas law, license revocation may occur even if your DWI attorney is successful in having the criminal charges against you reduced or if you are found not guilty of DWI charges later. However, if your license is suspended, you may be eligible to apply for an occupational driver’s license. It is important to contact a DWI attorney immediately after you are arrested to ensure your attorney has time to prepare for the administrative hearing as well as your criminal court case.

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