A suspended license after DWI in Texas can have far-reaching consequences. It can impede your ability to get to work (and subsequently earn a living), as well as making it really difficult to handle necessary aspects of daily life, like going to the grocery store, the bank, or medical appointments.
Fortunately, you can challenge a Texas drivers’ license suspension with the help of a DWI lawyer. But how long does the suspension last, and what are your rights?
How and When Is Your License Suspended After DWI In Texas?
When you are arrested for DWI, the police will take your driver’s license and issue a temporary permit to you. This Notice of Suspension and Temporary Driving Permit provides instructions on how to request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing.
You have 15 days from the day of your arrest to request your ALR hearing. Failure to request an ALR hearing will result in the automatic suspension of your license 40 days after your arrest.
The ALR hearing, presided by an administrative law judge, determines what will happen with your Texas driver’s license. During the hearing, the judge will listen to you, the arresting officer, and anyone else with important information. The judge will then determine how long your license will be suspended.
How Long Does a Texas Driver’s License Suspension Last?
In Texas, the length of your driver’s license suspension depends on many factors. The primary determining factor is how many times you have been convicted of DWI in Texas:
- A first DWI conviction in Texas will result in a driver’s license suspension of three months to a year.
- Subsequent DWI convictions will increase the suspension to between six months to two years.
A factor that will increase your suspension period include a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.08 percent. Similarly, an open container or child under 15 years of age in your car will play into your suspension period.
If you are 21 years of age or younger, your license will be suspended even longer. Texas’ zero-tolerance laws imposes criminal charges to underage drivers caught drinking and driving.
Underage drivers with a BAC between 0.01 to 0.079 percent will have their license suspended for two to six months. A BAC between 0.08 to 0.149% results in a suspension of one year for a first offense. A second offense increases the suspension to 18 months and a third offense to two years.
What Are Your Rights After DWI in Texas?
If you are fine with your license suspension period, you can wait it out. Your license will be reinstated at the end of the suspension period. However, you will have to pay $1000 to $2000 every year for three years after your conviction.
If you wish to appeal your driver’s license suspension, you have the right to do so. Your appeal must be filed within 30 days of the first day of your suspension period. If you are successful, the appeals court will reverse the suspension and reinstate your license.
If your appeal is not successful, you can obtain a provisional license. This gives you a way to legally drive to work and maintain your quality-of-life during your suspension period.
Acquiring a provisional license requires that you petition the court with the reasons why you need to drive. The court will grant you a provisional license if it agrees with your reasoning.
What Should You Do First After Being Arrested for DWI in Texas?
To keep your driving privileges, your best bet is to avoid a DWI conviction. If you are facing DWI charges, it’s crucial to have an experienced DWI lawyer in your corner.
A Fort Worth TX DWI attorney can help you challenge DWI charges and license suspension. They will make sure your rights are protected and fight to secure the best possible outcome for you.
Learn More About Driver’s License Suspension After DWI in Texas
At Hoeller & McLaughlin PLLC, we know how to challenge your DWI charges and a Texas driver’s license suspension. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you keep your license after DWI in Texas.