DWI And Driver License Suspension

If you are pulled over and the officer thinks that you are impaired, he may ask you to perform a set of field sobriety tests. If you fail or refuse to take them you could be arrested for DWI 

In addition, since you’ve refused or failed a blood or breath test after your arrest, you may have your driver license suspended. 

Your driver license suspension can last from 90 days to two years and result in an automatic one-year disqualification if you have a commercial driver license.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety:

“Driving while license suspended (DWLS) is a misdemeanor and has a punishment range of 3 days to 180 days in jail and/or a fine from $100 to $500. A new offense is committed every time a person drives DWLS. Each of these punishments may be probated.”


If you get a driver license suspension, you may apply for an occupational driver’s license (ODL) which limits where you can drive (only certain counties). 

To get an ODL, you may need to show “good cause” which means you need your license for going to and from work, taking children to school, running necessary errands like going to the grocery store, or the doctor for treatment. 

You’ll also be required by the court to install an alcohol interlock device on your vehicle.

ALR Hearing and Getting your driver license back

According to the Texas Department of public safety, the ALR hearing or

“Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program is a civil administrative process unrelated to criminal court proceedings. The ALR Program applies to individuals arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) and refuse to take or fail a blood or breath test.”


  • Here is the ALR Process for DWI and BWI:
  • Your are asked to take a breath or blood test to measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level
  • You fail (Registering a 0.08 BAC or greater is considered failing) or refuse to take the tests and your are served a notice that your driver license will be suspended. You then have 15 days from the date when you are served with the suspension notice to request a hearing
  • If your don’t request a hearing, the suspension goes into effect on the 40th day after the notice was served (usually 40 days after the arrest.)
  • For various reasons, including delayed or missing paperwork, the 40 days can be retroactive or back-dated from the date of notice
  • The officer will take your driver license and issue a temporary driving permit
  • You will have to pay a $125 Reinstatement fee prior to you driver license renewal or issuance.


In certain circumstances, you can request a hearing for an administrative license revocation (ALR) to contest your driver license suspension. 

If you submit the request within the required 15 days, DPS will send you a letter to the address on record. The letter will provide the date, time and location of the hearing, so make sure you allow up to 120 days for the hearing to be scheduled. 

After the required 15 days, you’ll be notified by mail that your request has been denied.

Hearings are conducted by the State Office of Administrative Hearings.  

When the hearing is held, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will listen to all parties’ evidence.  

After the hearing, the ALJ will issue a final, appealable decision and order that will be sent to the parties.  

If the ALJ finds that DPS has proven its case, the ALJ’s order will authorize a suspension of your driver license.  

If the ALJ finds that DPS has not proven its case, your driver license will not be suspended.

NOTE: If you have already been through the ALR hearing process and  your driver license was suspended, you may be eligible to appeal:

If your driver license has been suspended because you refused or failed a police blood or breath test after you were arrested for DWI, call us or fill out the form below…



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