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What Happens to My License After DWI Arrest in Texas?

When you are arrested for a DWI in Texas, you face two separate hearings: criminal and civil. If you plead guilty or are found guilty in the criminal phase, you face fines and jail time among other penalties. If you are found guilty in the civil phase, you are looking at an Administrative License Revocation (ALR).

Implied Consent to take Chemcial Test

The civil case begins as soon as you are arrested. If you refuse to take the breath or blood test, your license will automatically be revoked for 180 days. Texas’ implied consent laws state that every legal driver agreed to submit to a chemical test request when they signed for their driver’s license. The consequence for refusing to take the breath or blood test is actually greater than if you fail the test. A license suspension of 180 days if you refuse compared to a suspension of 90 days if you do not pass.

How can you prevent your license from being suspended?

When you are arrested and charged with DWI, the officer will take your license and give you a Temporary Permit that is good for the next 41 days. To challenge the ALR suspension, you MUST request an ALR hearing within 15 days from the date of your arrest. Once you request and receive a hearing date, you will keep the Temporary Permit until your ALR hearing has concluded. If you fail to request the ALR hearing, your license will automatically be suspended on the 41st day following your arrest.

ALR Hearing for a license suspension

You can hire a DUI attorney to represent you at your ALR hearing or you can go alone. Many of the discussions revolve around police procedure and bureaucratic processes, and it is a good idea to hire an experienced DUI attorney. The Department of Public Safety must prove that the police officer had a justifiable reason to stop you and probable cause to arrest you. They must also prove that the officer explained the consequences of refusing to take the breath or blood test and also the ramifications for failing these same tests. At the actual hearing, the DPS hearing officer will likely only have the police report, lab results and a sworn affidavit from your arresting officer to read from. There will likely be no live testimony against you at this hearing. The ALS hearing is important for two reasons: it protects your driving privileges, and possibly more important, it reveals the facts of your criminal case and gives your DWI attorney an idea of how to put together your defense for the criminal charge. The information gained through this hearing is invaluable to your defense, and is frequently helps determine if your DWI charges can be successfully defended against at trial. A DUI attorney in your area would have handled hundreds or thousands of ALR hearings and would know the right questions to ask and the areas of weakness for the State. It would benefit you to take advantage of their knowledge, skill and experience.