DWI License Suspension in Texas

Attorney Trey Porter
Trey Porter

DWI License Suspension in Texas

If you have been charged with DWI in Texas it is critical to request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing within 15 days of the incident.

Every person charged with DWI in Texas faces an automatic ALR suspension of their Texas driver’s license. The suspension takes effect approximately 40 days from the date of arrest. The ALR hearing is the only chance to contest the suspension.

  • Is your license suspended right after a DWI in Texas? Not immediately. You may still drive legally after an arrest. However, failure to request a hearing within 15 days will result in an automatic suspension. The suspension will go into effect approximately 40 days from the arrest date.
  • How do I get my license back after a DWI in Texas? If your actual license card is confiscated, you may request a new license through the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) website. If you license is suspended you may be eligible for an Occupational Driver License. Motorists with an ignition interlock device requirement must also submit verification to DPS.

HOW LONG IS DWI DRIVER LICENSE SUSPENSION IN TEXAS?

For DWI first offense in Texas, drivers face a suspension period of 3 months to 1 year. Drivers with prior DWI convictions (including felony DWI) face a suspension period of 6 months to 2 years. Factors that can increase the period of suspension include:

  • Blood alcohol Concentration (BAC)
  • Child passenger under 15 years old
  • Open container
  • An accident, injury or fatality 
  • How long does it take to reinstate a suspended license in Texas? A suspended license can be reinstated as soon as the suspension period has expired. Additionally, the Texas Department of Public Safety requires payment of a $125 reinstatement fee before restoring a suspended license.
  • Can you drive in Texas after DWI? Yes, a person can drive for 40 days after a DWI offense and individuals who requested an ALR hearing can drive until after the hearing date if the administrative law judge suspends their license. Texas motorists may petition for an Occupational Driver’s License to legally drive during suspension periods. A driver’s license can be reinstated once the suspension period has expired.

IS IT ILLEGAL TO DRIVE WHILE YOUR LICENSE IS SUSPENDED  IN TEXAS?

Yes, Driving While License Invalid is a criminal charge in Texas. This offense is normally a class C misdemeanor subject to a $500 fine, but is enhanceable to a class B misdemeanor or even a class A misdemeanor depending on the presence of priors and the circumstances of the offense.

  • What happens if you drive around with a suspended license? It is a crime to drive around with a suspended license. Individuals who do so are subject to arrest, bail bond conditions, and criminal prosecution in Texas. These cases can even lead to a jail sentence and a permanent criminal record in certain circumstances.
  • What happens when your license is suspended in Texas? Motorists may not legally drive when their license is suspended in Texas. However, a driver’s license can be reinstated once the administrative license suspension has expired. Additionally, some individuals may qualify for an Occupational Driver’s License, which allows them to legally drive a motor vehicle. Commercial vehicle operators cannot get an Occupational Driver’s License for their CDL privileges and must wait out the suspension.

CAN I GET A TEXAS ID IF MY LICENSE IS SUSPENDED?

Yes, a person with a suspended driver’s license can get an official Texas ID with the Department of Public Safety.

  • How do I lift a suspended license in Texas? A DWI license suspension can be lifted once the suspension period has expired and after payment of a $125 reinstatement fee. An administrative license suspension can also be appealed to allow another court to consider the legality of the traffic stop or field sobriety testing, for example.

HOW LONG IS LICENSE SUSPENSION FOR UNDERAGE DRIVERS IN TEXAS?

Texas has a Zero Tolerance policy for minor drivers under the age of 21. Consequently, Texas drivers underage with any detectable alcohol in their system may be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Underage drivers face a suspension period of 60 days to 6 months for a first-time DUI charge. Underage drivers with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) that exceeds 0.08 face a suspension period of 18 months to 2 years.

  • Do you have to get an SR-22 after a DUI in Texas? A DWI conviction requires the filing of an SR-22 certificate with the State that must be maintained for 2 years. Texas drivers with Occupational Driver’s Licenses must also obtain an SR-22 policy.

WHAT IS AN ALR HEARING?

An ALR Hearing is an administrative hearing with a judge, court reporter, police officer, and State attorney. The ALR hearing is the first line of defense against a DWI in Texas. It is a defendant and DWI lawyer’s first opportunity to expose weakness in the State’s case.

  • What happens at an ALR hearing? The State presents evidence to prove the driver’s identity, the existence of reasonable suspicion or probable cause, and whether there was a breathalyzer or blood test refusal or failure.
  • What is implied consent in Texas? By choosing to drive in Texas, a driver essentially consents to test for alcohol or drugs if probable cause exists to support the request from the law enforcement officer.
  • How do you win an ALR hearing? Winning an ALR hearing in Texas is difficult. The State has the advantage of having a low burden of proof, and not very many things to prove compared to the requirements of the trial prosecutor. No matter the outcome, the process of having an ALR can be valuable to the overall DWI defense strategy.

BEST TEXAS DUI LAWYERS 

Trey Porter Law provides powerful representation for people facing DUI and DWI charges across Texas. Results matter most when your freedom and future are on the line. Trey Porter Law brings over 40 years of combined experience, strategic knowledge, and a hard-earned reputationof winning to every case the firm takes on. The top-rated lawyers at TPL have a steadfast commitment to uncompromising results. 

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Attorney Trey Porter

Trey Porter

Trey Porter is one of the highest-rated criminal defense attorneys in Texas. Nationally recognized, Mr. Porter relentlessly fights to protect and assert his clients’ constitutional rights in and out of courtrooms across the state.

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