How a DUI/DWI Arrest Affects a Driver License

When I meet with someone for the first time, almost always they are first concerned about their driver license. It means their ability to legally drive is greatly diminished and thus, their work will be affected and their capacity to earn income and pay expenses will be compromised.

When one is arrested on suspicion of Driving While Intoxicated, one’s driver license will most assuredly be negatively affected. It is little known that when one receives their license from the Department of Public Service, one gives their ‘implied consent’ that at any time one is asked by an officer to give a specimen of their breath, urine, or blood, they will voluntarily submit. This is a condition for one to receive a driver license.

If the specimen is below the legal limit of 0.08, nothing will happen to their license, but they still could be prosecuted by the district attorney’s office for the arrest, due to the ‘failure’ of their performance on the DWI field sobriety test. Accordingly, the DWI is controlled by the Texas Penal Code (the courts) and the license is controlled by DPS; two separate jurisdictions.

If the specimen is given voluntarily and is over the legal limit, the license may be suspended for a period of ninety days. If one refuses to voluntarily give the specimen, the license may be suspended for one hundred eighty days, even if the specimen is forcibly taken by a search warrant.

If one fails a breath test at the jail (the portable breath test at the arrest scene is not admissible in court) the license card will be immediately taken and the subject is given a form called ‘Notice of Suspension, Temporary Driving Permit’. This will allow one to legally drive for the next forty days, until the suspension is in effect.

However, at the bottom of the form, in small print, there are instructions to request a hearing before an administrative judge. This must be done to DPS specifications and within fifteen days of the DWI arrest. Such request will ‘suspend the suspension’. In other words, one’s license is still good until the result of the hearing is made. Once the request is successfully made, the actual hearing may be set a time in the future.

I have used the phrase “may be suspended” above. There may be ways to successfully contest this action and avoid a suspension when managed by a knowing DWI attorney.

Contact or Call (903) 207-5525 to schedule a free initial consultation with attorney John J. Eastland.

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