If you have been arrested, you only have 15 days to request a hearing to save your drivers license.
Once you are arrested for DWI in Texas, you not only are fighting your criminal case in court, but also fighting to keep your license from being suspended by DPS.
Most people understand that when you are arrested for DWI or other alcohol-related offense, you will have to go to criminal court to fight a criminal charge that the District Attorney files against you.
However, in most cases, DPS will initiate a civil proceeding against you, called an Administrative License Revocation hearing or ALR.
When you obtain a drivers license, you consent to submit to a breath test or blood test if you are arrested for DWI. If you refuse to submit to a breath or blood test, or if you fail a breath or blood test, the Texas Transportation Code provides for a drivers license suspension.
However, you can fight the suspension, but you MUST request a hearing with DPS within 15 days of your arrest to be able to fight the suspension. If you fail to request the hearing timely, even on the 16th day, your license will automatically be suspended on the 41st day following your arrest.
If you request the hearing within 15 days of being arrested, your license will not be suspended by DPS until you have the ALR hearing where you can fight the suspension.
The lawyers at The Kahn Law Firm will request the ALR hearing and defend you at the hearing. It is important to contact an attorney immediately following an arrest for DWI.
The Department of Public Safety has the burden of proof at the ALR hearing. Before DPS can suspend your drivers license, they must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, the following:
- That there was reasonable suspicion to stop or probable cause to arrest the driver,
- That probable cause existed that the driver was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated,
- That the driver was placed under arrest and was offered an opportunity to give a specimen of breath or blood after being notified both orally and in writing of the consequences of either refusing or failing a breath or blood test, AND
- That the driver refused to give a specimen on request of the officer,
OR, that the driver failed a breath or blood test by registering an alcohol concentration of .08 or greater per 100ml of blood or 210 liters of breath.
How Long Can My License Be Suspended?
Adults who do not have any prior alcohol or drug contacts during the 10 years before the arrest may have their license suspended. Adults who are 21 or older may have their license suspended for 180 days (6 months) for refusing a breath test or 90 days (3 months) for failing a breath test.
However, if you have a prior alcohol or drug contact within 10 years of the arrest, the suspension periods are much higher. Those with a prior alcohol or drug contact within 10 years may have their license suspended for 2 years if you refused the breath test or 1 year if you failed the breath test.