Driving While intoxicated (DWI) is a serious crime that carries major consequences in Texas. DWI charges result in a criminal case with penalties that could include possible jail time, a fine, court costs, supervision fees, and installing an ignition interlock device in your vehicle to name just a few potential consequences. Some may not realize that there is also an administrative case that deals with the suspension of driving privileges. Following your arrest for DWI, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) files an administrative case and begins proceedings against you to suspend your Texas driver’s license.

The Administrative License Revocation (ALR) case takes place at the State Office of Administrative Hearings where an administrative law judge decides whether or not a DPS prosecutor can suspend your license.  On a first DWI offense, the suspension period can last up to 90 days, if you failed a breath or blood test analysis, or up to 180 days, if you refused to provide a sample.  Prior alcohol related suspensions of your license within the last ten years can increase the suspension period anywhere from one to two years, depending on the situation.

A conviction for a DWI offense can also result in suspension of your license based on the outcome of the case. Your driver’s license suspension can last for 90 days up to one year for a first-offense DWI in Texas. However, a previous conviction for DWI on your record could increase your suspension up to two years. 

As for drivers under the age of 21, Texas is just as strict. A driver under 21 years old at the time of the offense is considered a minor.  The court must impose a license suspension of a driver’s license for a minor when convicted of a DWI. The suspension will be a minimum of 90 days and could last for one full year. Underage drivers are also subject to other penalties, as outlined by DPS.

After having your license suspended due to an ALR, you can file an appeal within 30 days of the start of your suspension to potentially regain driving privileges.  The case would have to be reversed by a County Court judge and that outcome would require that DPS reissue your license. If you do not win your appeal, you must wait until your suspension is complete before your license can be reinstated. You may be required to pay reinstatement fees to get the license issued and can check on your Eligibility Page.

In Texas, the only legal way to drive during the time that your license is suspended is to obtain an occupational driver’s license. An occupational license is sometimes issued to people who must drive for meet essential needs such as business purposes or household needs (e.g., food, medical appointments, etc.). To obtain an occupational license in Texas, you must submit a petition to the court so that the judge can decide whether or not you meet the requirements to grant one.

A knowledgeable and skilled DWI defense attorney can help you fight your Texas driver’s license suspension or help you get an occupational license if you already have a suspension. If you need an experienced attorney to advocate for you, contact the Law Office of Collin Evans. Collin Evans is an honest attorney who can answer your questions and provide valuable legal counsel. For a free consultation, contact Houston DWI attorney, Collin Evans, online or by phone at 713-225-0650 to discuss your license suspension due to DWI charges or any other legal issue.