In Texas, an arrest for DWI initiates two separate cases.
- One is the criminal charge for driving while intoxicated.
- The other is a civil process overseen by the Texas Department of Public Safety and is completely unrelated to the criminal DWI charges.
If you are arrested for DWI in Texas, you will be asked to take a breath or blood test to measure your blood alcohol concentration level. If you refuse to take the test, or if you fail the test by having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, you will be subject to an administrative license suspension from the Texas Department of Public Safety. In such a case, the arresting officer will confiscate your driver’s license and issue a temporary driving permit.
Temporary Driving Permits
The temporary permit is good for 40 days from the date of the arrest.
On the 41st day following the arrest, your driving privileges will become suspended for:
- 90 days, if this is your first offense and you failed the testing;
- 180 days, if this is your first offense and you refused the testing;
- One year, if you failed the testing and your license was previously suspended for failing or refusing chemical testing, or for a DWI conviction in the ten years preceding the current arrest;
- Two years if you refused the testing and your license was previously suspended for failing or refusing chemical testing, or for a DWI conviction in the ten years preceding the current arrest.
During this suspension period, all driving – for any reason whatsoever – is prohibited unless you apply for and receive an occupational license.
Requesting An ALR Hearing
The only way to avoid an automatic driver’s license suspension is by requesting an administrative license revocation, or ALR, hearing.
Requesting an ALR hearing forces the DPS to prove their case against you.
The ALR hearing request must be made within 15 days of the date of the DWI arrest. A failure to do so will result in a loss of the right to challenge the ALR suspension.
At the hearing, the DPS will have to prove the following:
- The arresting officer had either reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop your vehicle;
- There was probable cause to believe that you were operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated;
- You were arrested, and a request was made to submit to breath or blood testing; and
- You either refused that request or submitted to testing and had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or greater.
The DPS will attempt to use the arresting officer’s written affidavit to prove their case against you. An experienced DWI attorney will issue a subpoena and compel the officer’s attendance at the hearing. If the officer fails to show up, you win the case by default. If the officer does show up, there is a chance to show evidence of innocence that was not contained in the police report.
Another benefit of the ALR hearing is that your attorney will get an opportunity to see the evidence that will be used in court against you on the DWI charge. This will help your attorney to better defend you against the charge of driving while intoxicated.
Your license may be suspended for:
- 90 days for first time convictions
- 5 years for second convictions
- 10 years on three or more convictions
Obtaining An Occupational Drivers License
Here at the Law offices of RJ Harber, we will help you obtain an ODL or occupational drivers license. An ODL may be available to you if your license is suspended and you had a valid Texas Driver License at the time of your suspension. An occupational license is when a judge authorizes you to operate a non-commercial motor vehicle if you need to drive to your job, for educational purposes, or in the performance of essential household duties.
An occupational license is a restricted license that is issued to a person who has had their driver’s license suspended, revoked, or denied. The occupational license allows that person to drive:
- To and from work or to perform their duties at work;
- To and from school; or
- To perform essential household duties.
An occupational license will not be issued to operate a commercial vehicle. Furthermore, you cannot get an occupational license if you have previously:
- Lost your driving privileges due to a medical condition;
- Lost your driving privileges due to a failure to pay child support; or
- Have received two occupational licenses in the last ten years.
Contact Us For A Free Consultation
As a former prosecutor of Dallas & Tarrant County, RJ Harber knows the proper steps to take, when dealing with this matter. To ensure you are back on the road as soon as possible, contact Mr. Harber today.
You can contact the Law Offices of RJ Harber at (214) 389-1189 to learn more about how you can receive your license back.