HOW DO I KEEP MY DRIVERS LICENSE IF I GET ARRESTED FOR A DWI IN TEXAS?

Did you get picked up for a DWI in Texas?

You are not alone! DWIs (Driving While Intoxicated) is one of the most charged offenses in Texas. Did you know that there were 65,000 people arrested for DWI in 2015 in the State of Texas? And that number is DOWN from 95,000 is 2005. In this age of Uber and Lyft and even self-driving cars, the number of DWIs will continue to diminish, however, DWIs will remain one of the most “targeted” crimes by law enforcement because of the devastating effects drinking and driving can have.

Arrested for DWI and then Refused or Failed the Breath or Blood Test?

Have you been arrested for driving while intoxicated? Did you refuse or fail the breath or blood test. If the answer is yes then you need to know about the Administrative License Revocation (“ALR”) program. The Administrative License Revocation (“ALR”) program was created by the Texas Legislature in 1993 and became effective on January 1, 1995.  Its purpose is to provide an administrative hearing for determining whether the proposed suspension by the Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) of the driver’s license of a person who has been accused of driving or boating while intoxicated (or in the case of minors, driving or boating with any detectable amount of alcohol in their systems) should be upheld.

Do I have a Right to Counsel at my ALR hearing?

DPS will be represented by a DPS attorney at the hearing.  You may represent yourself or you may employ an attorney. However, NO ONE SHOULD EVER REPRESENT THEMSELF. The judge at the hearing will hold you to the same standard as DPS’ attorney. That’s basically like going into a boxing match with a trained boxer.

You are also not entitled to attorney, so you must hire one to represent you. Most criminal defense attorneys, like the Fort Worth defense attorneys at Nickols & White, PLLC, will build this cost into the total fee for your DWI representation.

What Issues are Decided at a ALR Hearing in Texas?

Basically, two things. First, was there Reasonable Suspicion to pull the driver over. Normally, the officer will claim that the vehicle was swerving between lanes, driving too fast or sometimes driving too slow or failed to stop at a stop light or stop sign. Second, whether the officer had Probable Cause to believe that the driver was operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated (with either an alcohol concentration over .08 or without the normal use of the driver’s mental or physical faculties).

Breath Test Refusal

(Suspension for not less than 180 days)

  1. Was there reasonable suspicion for the peace officer to stop the driver?
  2. Was there probable cause for the officer to believe the driver was intoxicated?
  3. Was the driver offered the opportunity to provide a specimen of breath or blood?
  4. Did the driver refuse to provide a specimen?

Breath Test Failure

(Suspension for not less than 90 days)

  1. Was there reasonable suspicion for the peace officer to stop the driver?
  2. Was there probable cause for the officer to believe the driver was intoxicated?
  3. Was the driver offered the opportunity to provide a specimen of breath or blood?
  4. Did the driver have an alcohol concentration above the legal limit?

*Repeated offenses may result in longer suspensions.

**The issues are different for cases involving drivers under 21 years of age, for drivers of commercial vehicles, and for boating cases.

What should I do after I am arrested for DWI in Texas?

The most IMPORTANT thing to do, immediately after you are arrested is call the defense attorneys at Nickols & White, PLLC. First, our attorneys may be able to have your bond reduced and can bail you out of jail. Second, you only have a few days after you are arrested to request a ALR hearing. If your attorney does not request the ALR hearing, you waive your right to have the hearing and your LICENSE WILL BE SUSPENDED. If you timely request the hearing, guess what?! Your license remains active until the judge makes their decision. This can potentially be a few months after you are arrested. You keep your license active during this time!

The experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys at Nickols & White, PLLC, have over 35 years of combined experience with criminal law in Texas. Together we have handled several hundred DWI cases in Texas ranging from low-level DWI charges to Intoxication Manslaughter cases involving persons accused of drinking and driving.

If you were arrested in Tarrant, Dallas, Collin, Denton, Johnson, Parker County or ANY OTHER county in the State of Texas, call us right now at (682) 250-4242 for a FREE consult. DWI cases are very time-sensitive, so you could your license and potentially 1,000’s of dollars if you wait even a couple of days. All it takes is one call and our attorneys will take care of the rest.