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DWI in Texas - Can I get an Arkansas Driverís License?

English: Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas....
It is illegal in every state to operate a motorized vehicle if your blood alcohol content level or BAC is above the legal limit of 0.08% or higher. This is considered a per se violation. It is also illegal to operate a motorized vehicle with any amount of alcohol in your system if you are unable to safely do so. The State of Texas most frequently uses the term driving while intoxicated or DWI but this charge will be a similar to DUI or driving under the influence which is used in other states. Recently on our forum we had a driver ask if they could get a driver’s license in Arkansas if their Texas license had been suspended. To understand this question it is important to understand the Interstate Driver’s License Compact.

How will the Interstate Driver’s License Compact affect your right in another state after a Texas DWI?

  The Interstate Driver¬ís License Compact is an agreement between 45 member states to share information about certain traffic violations back to the home state of the driver who was arrested. There are currently five states that are not members of the Interstate License Compact and they are: Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee and Wisconsin. So if you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated in Texas and you have had your license suspended through an administrative license suspension or if you are ultimately convicted of DWI, this information will be reported to the state of Arkansas and you will not be allowed to go and apply for a driver¬ís license in that state. Information on the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration website confirms that if your license has been suspended by another state you will need to ¬ďcontact the state where you are suspended and ask them what you will need to provide them to have the situation resolved.¬Ē This is an indication that the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration will not issue you a license to drive if your license has been suspended in the state of Texas.

Penalties for DWI in Texas

  If you are arrested for DWI in Texas this will potentially initiate not only a civil case against you by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles but also a criminal case against you by the state¬ís prosecuting attorney. An administrative license suspension will be initiated if you either refuse to take a chemical test or if you take the test and fail with a blood alcohol content which is more than 0.08% or higher. Blood alcohol content refusals will result in an 180 license suspension and BAC test failures will result in a 90 day suspension. Drivers who are convicted of DWI may also have their license suspended for 90 days to one year. The court may be willing to grant a work permit, and if the driver has their license already suspended due to the administrative license suspension these penalties will run concurrently. As mentioned above, these license suspensions will have to expire prior to requesting a driver¬ís license in the state of Arkansas.
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