The privilege of driving in Texas comes with many obligations. You likely took a driving test in Travis County to prove your knowledge of the laws of the road. Obeying those laws is crucial to the safety of you and other drivers. If you break the law, you run the risk of losing your privilege to drive.
Having your license suspended or revoked takes time, generally by accumulating points for various traffic offenses. However, if police have pulled you over for drunk driving, your driving privileges are in imminent danger. In addition to facing any criminal charges stemming from your arrest, your license will be at the mercy of the Administrative License Revocation Program.
Refusing to take a breath test
There are two conditions under which a police officer will immediately confiscate your driver's license. The first is if you refuse to submit to a breath test to check your blood alcohol content during a DWI arrest.
Texas, like many other states, has an implied consent law, meaning that by receiving a license to drive, you automatically consent to a BAC test if an officer has probable cause to request it. Refusing a breath test after a DWI arrest may mean the suspension of your license for three months up to two years, depending on the decision during an ALR hearing.
The second condition which may result in a license suspension is failing a breath test by registering .08 BAC or higher. If either of these two conditions exists, the following will happen:
- An officer will inform you of the consequences of failing or refusing to take a breath test.
- The officer will take your driver's license from you.
- You will receive a temporary permit to drive for the next 40 days. Suspension of your license begins when the permit expires.
- You may request a hearing within 15 days, or you may simply accept the suspension beginning 40 days after your arrest.
- If you ask for a hearing, an administrative law judge will hear your side of the case and issue a final decision, which you may appeal.
- A decision in your favor means the state will not suspend your license.
This hearing is not a criminal hearing and is different from any criminal proceedings that may apply to you as a result of your DWI arrest. Additionally, if you drive a commercial vehicle, the processes and consequences of the administrative part of your arrest may be considerably different. Nevertheless, whether you are facing an administrative hearing or a criminal proceeding because of a DWI arrest, having legal assistance is always in your best interests.