You've Been Arrested for a DWI. Now What?

Posted By Navid Alband || 28-Nov-2012

So you've been arrested. Arrested for a DWI. You and roughly 95,000 other adults around the nation. In 2007, 17% of Tarrant County's population was charged with a new DWI. So, it is safe to say that you are not alone. But, despite the overwhelming numbers of new DWI charges, if it happens to you, the experience can be confusing, complicated, and simply – frightening. I'm here to help. And whether you have recently been charged with a DWI or just want to know the ins and outs of the process, I want to make a few things clear.

A DWI charge comes with both administrative penalties as well as criminal penalties. Today, I will tell you a little about the administrative side.

Administrative Process:

ALR – Administrative License Revocation – process is unrelated to any criminal court proceedings.

The focus of an ALR hearing is whether or not to reinstate your driver's license that has been replaced with a temporary driving permit. The Texas Implied Consent Statute states that each person who operates a motor vehicle on Texas roadways has given implied consent to provide a breath or blood specimen if arrested for a DWI. Thus, if you refuse to provide a specimen or fail the tests, you may suffer the possible consequences regarding your license.

ALR suspensions are automatic on the 41st day after arrest. To avoid an automatic suspension, you must request an ALR hearing within the first 15 days after the arrest. Once an ALR hearing is requested, the proposed suspension will be delayed until a hearing takes place.

Unfortunately, the threshold to suspend your license in an ALR hearing is low. All the magistrate needs in order to suspend your license is probable cause that you were driving while intoxicated. This burden of proof lies with the Department of Public Safety. And the amount of time your license will be suspended depends on your situation. [A list of the suspension periods is below.]

Although there is usually a great chance of having your license suspended, you may be eligible for an Occupational License. An occupational authorizes the operation of a vehicle in connection with your job, education, or essential household duties. The process to obtain an Occupation License includes petitioning the court. Once the petition is granted, you need a certified copy of the petition, the order granting the occupational license, the SR-22 certificate of insurance, the occupational license fee, and other reinstatement fees that may be required.

All in all, even with the low threshold of suspending your license through the administrative process, we have options in order to keep you safely behind the wheel in order to carry on your daily routine.

Suspension Periods:

21 and older

Refused to provide specimen following an arrest:

- 180 days for the FIRST OFFENSE

- 2 years if previously suspended for FAILING, REFUSING, or DWI, Intoxication Assault, or Intoxication Manslaughter conviction during the last 10 years preceding the date of arrest.

Provided a specimen of 0.08 or greater following an arrest:

- 90 days for the FIRST OFFENSE

- 1 year if previously suspended for FAILING, REFUSING, or DWI, Intoxication Assault, or Intoxication Manslaughter conviction during the last 10 years preceding the date of arrest.

Under 21

Refused to provide specimen following an arrest:

- 180 days for the FIRST OFFENSE

- 2 years if previously suspended for FAILING, REFUSING, or DWI, Intoxication Assault, or Intoxication Manslaughter conviction during the last 10 years preceding the date of arrest.

Provided a specimen of 0.08 or greater (or any detectable amount of alcohol) or was not requested to provide a specimen following an arrest:

- 60 days for the FIRST OFFENSE

- 120 days if previously convicted of an offense under Section 106.041, Alcoholic Beverage Code or Sections 49.04, 49.07, or 49.08 Penal Code, involving the operation of a motor vehicle.

180 days if previously convicted TWICE or more of an offense under Section 106.041, Alcoholic Beverage Code or Sections 49.04, 49.07, or 49.08 Penal Code, involving the operation of a motor vehicle.

Categories: DWI
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.