When you are arrested for driving or boating while intoxicated (DWI or BWI), two separate proceedings can affect the validity of your driver’s license. You can receive a license suspension or revocation ordered by the court in your criminal proceedings. However, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) also has an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) program that can impact your license in these situations, as well.
The ALR process begins when you are arrested for DWI or BWI and you:
- Refuse or fail to take a breath or blood test to measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC)
- Take a breath or blood test showing that your BAC is .08% or more when driving a non-commercial motor vehicle
- Take a breath or blood test showing that your BAC is .04% or more when operating a commercial motor vehicle
Any of these events will result in the administrative suspension or revocation of your license. The ALR process is entirely unrelated to and unaffected by any license suspensions or revocations that occur as a result of your criminal proceedings.
When you refuse a blood or breath test during a DWI arrest, the officer automatically will take your license and issue you a temporary license and notice of suspension. At that point, you only have 15 days to request an administrative hearing before DPS to contest the license suspension. If you fail to request a hearing within the required 15-day period, your suspension will go into effect on the 40th day after you received the suspension notice, which usually is 40 days after the date of your arrest.
The process is similar if you submit to a blood test, and the results show a BAC over the legal limit applicable to your case. The only difference is that you don’t receive a notice of suspension immediately from the police officer. Instead, once the requesting law enforcement agency receives the results, they will mail you a notice of suspension and a temporary license. You then have 15 days from the date that you are served with the suspension notice to request an administrative hearing.
It can take up to 120 days for an administrative hearing to occur. You will go before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), who will hear evidence from both parties and make a final determination about the suspension or revocation of your license. If DPS proves its case, your license will be suspended, but if DPS is unable to prove its case, your license will not be suspended. You will receive a written decision from the ALJ that you can further appeal if you choose.
Peek & Toland dedicates a large part of its practice to assisting individuals in resolving their criminal charges. We know that criminal proceedings can be intimidating and overwhelming for those who are facing potential penalties for criminal charges. We will work with you to achieve the most favorable outcome possible in your situation. Call our office today and set up a consultation with our skilled criminal defense attorneys today.