If an officer pulls you over for any reason and believes that you are impaired, they may ask you to perform a set of field sobriety tests. Failing or refusing to take these tests may result in your arrest for DWI. If you refused, or if you failed a blood or breath test after your arrest, it’s possible that your driver’s license will be suspended as well.
A driver’s license suspension can last from 90 days to 2 years and may result in an automatic 1-year disqualification for any sort of commercial driver’s 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.”
In the event your license is suspended, you may apply for an occupational driver’s license (ODL), which places limits on your driving. You will be limited in where you can drive, generally by county. Additionally, to acquire an ODL, you may need to demonstrate “good cause” — that means you require a license for getting to and from work, taking children to school, or running necessary errands such as going to the grocery store or doctor’s appointments.
You will also be required by the court to install an alcohol interlock device on your vehicle, which can prevent your car from operating if the system detects alcohol in your breath.
In some circumstances, you can petition for an ALR hearing in an attempt to reinstate or avoid the driver’s license suspension.
According to the Texas Department of public safety:
“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.”
In certain situations, you can request a hearing for an administrative license revocation to contest your driver’s license suspension. If you submit the request within the required 15 days, the DPS will send a letter to your recorded address. The letter will provide the date, time, and location of your ALR hearing. 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 then conducted by the State Office of Administrative Hearings. When the hearing is held, the Administrative Law Justice (ALJ) will listen to all parties’ evidence, followed by a final, appealable decision and order issued to the parties involved.
If the ALJ finds that the DPS has proven its case, the order will authorize a suspension of your driver’s license. However, if the ALJ finds that the DPS has not proven its case, your driver’s license will not be suspended.
Note: If you’ve already been through the ALR hearing process and your driver’s license was suspended, you may be eligible to appeal the decision. If your driver’s license has been suspended because you refused or failed a police blood or breath test after your DWI arrest, call us or fill out the form below.
We can help you fight your driver’s license suspension with a group of highly experienced and professional DWI defense attorneys familiar with Houston and Texas laws and regulations.
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