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Texas Drunk Driving License Suspensions

Nothing seems more confusing to North Texas drivers than the fact that when they are arrested for DWI (driving while intoxicated) or drunk driving  in North Texas they face not only criminal DWI charges but also a possible Administrative License Suspension which is a civil procedure. A North Texas administrative license suspension is initiated if the North Texas driver either fails a blood or breath test because their blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or higher or they refuse to submit to a blood alcohol concentration test (BAC). Drivers, under the Texas Implied Consent Law, have given their implied consent to submit to a BAC test when ask to do so by a Texas law enforcement officer. This is a mandatory requirement that drivers agree to when they choose to operate a motorized vehicle on Texas roads. If you are arrested for your first drunk driving charge and you refuse to take a chemical test you will have your license suspended for 180 days. North Texas drivers who take the BAC test and have a BAC above the legal limit will face a 90 day suspension of their driver’s license. Keep in mind, these drunk driving administrative license suspension penalties are imposed regardless of whether or not you are ultimately convicted of a North Texas drunk driving charge.

What do you do if you are arrested for drunk driving in Texas?

If you are arrested for DWI in Texas the police officer will take your Texas driver’s license and give you a temporary driving permit. You can use this permit until the 41st day after the date it was issued to you. To challenge the administrative license suspension you must request an administrative license review hearing in writing within 15 days after your license suspension. Keep in mind, if you have requested the administrative license suspension this request will stop the administrative sanctions until you have had the chance to plead your case before the administrative review board.

What happens at the Texas Administrative License Suspension Hearing?

The first step if you have been arrested for a Texas DWI is to contact a Texas DUI lawyer. DWI lawyers in Texas can use the administrative license review hearing to not only potentially avoid a Texas license suspension but the “discovery” phase in the administrative license hearing can allow you and your Texas DWI attorney to gather information about your upcoming DUI criminal case and the strength of the prosecutor’s DWI case against you. The state has the burden of proof at the administrative license suspension hearing and there are several things they must prove to the court:
  • The police officer had probable cause to stop and arrest the driver for a Texas DWI.
  • The driver had actual physical control of the motorized vehicle and they were intoxicated in a public place.
  • The driver arrested for the Texas DWI was notified by the police officer in writing and orally about the consequences for not taking or failing the BAC test, and the driver refused to provide the specimen when asked to do so by the officer or they had a BAC which was above the legal limit: breath or blood test by registering an alcohol concentration of 0.08% or greater per 100ml of blood or 210 liters of breath.

Can I get my license back after the Texas Administrative License Suspension?

If you can prove that the police officer did not follow the requirements outlined above, the Department of Motor Vehicles will return your Texas license to you immediately. If you lose your driver’s license at the Administrative License Hearing you must submit a special TDPS form and a reinstatement fee of $125 (cash, cashier’s check or personal check) to the Driver Improvement and Control Texas Department of Public Safety, P.O. Box 15999 Austin, Texas, 78761-5999 to have your license reinstated.
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