Texas Drivers, beware: After being arrested for driving under the influence (DWI), you have only 15 days to submit an appeal in an effort to save your driver’s license from an automatic suspension. Because this suspension is administrative–rather than criminal–you could lose your driving privileges even before being found guilty in a court of law. If you rely on your car to get to school, work, and other necessary locations, it is in your best interest to work with an Austin DWI defense lawyer to fight your administrative license suspension.
Texas has several laws regarding breathalyzer, blood, and urine tests that are administered after a drunk-driving arrest. The first is that it is illegal to drive any motor vehicle–whether it’s a car or motorcycle–with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit of .08%. Another law that pertains to drivers suspected of DWI is Implied Consent. Under this law, individuals are required to comply with the arresting officer’s request to submit to a breathalyzer–or face harsh penalties.
Whether you fail the breathalyzer or refuse to take it, you will face an administrative license revocation. Upon either of these actions, the officer can confiscate your driver’s license and issue a temporary permit that expires 40 days after your drunk-driving arrest.
The suspension period for failing the breathalyzer test is 90 days for a first offense. This is increased to one year for a second offense. For a first refusal, your license can be suspended for 180 days and increased to two years for a second refusal.
Appealing your license suspension is possible–provided you follow the correct steps. First and foremost, you must submit your hearing request within 15 days. Even missing the deadline by one day will result in the forfeiture of your driving privileges on the 41st day after you received the administrative license revocation notice. However, if you appeal your suspension, it will be pushed back an additional 90 days.
At your hearing, the Department of Public Safety must prove their case; that is, that there was reasonable suspicion to stop and arrest you, that there was probable cause to believe that you were driving while intoxicated and that you were asked to take the breathalyzer test and either failed it or refused it. A DWI attorney can argue against the Department’s evidence in an effort to disprove these elements.
Fighting an administrative license revocation can be a difficult process; fortunately, a lawyer can make it easier. Attorney Ken Gibson has helped a number of clients successfully contest their suspensions in order to minimize the disruptions to their life. To learn how he can handle your license suspension appeal, please call our office now for a free consultation.