When an individual is charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, they can face a criminal or civil driver’s license suspension, possibly both in some cases. If that person is subsequently convicted of a DWI offense after refusing to submit to a chemical breath or blood test, they will receive both a criminal and civil license suspension.
Driver’s license suspensions are an unavoidable consequence of a DWI arrest that must be dealt with in a quick and timely manner to ensure the most favorable outcome. An administrative license suspension hearing often requires the support of a strong and knowledgeable DWI defense lawyer, and there can often be possibilities for some very favorable outcomes when cases are fully investigated before these hearings.
Driver’s License Procedures Defense Lawyer in Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Keller, Southlake, TX
If you have been arrested for a DWI offense in Tarrant County, you deserve to be able to drive as long as you need to. Get a criminal defense lawyer on your side to give yourself the best chance at securing your right to drive and ensuring that you have qualified legal representation for any possible hearing you may encounter relating to your driver’s license.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy helps people with all kinds of driver’s license issues stemming from DWI arrests and we will make every active effort to help you be able to stay on the road right now and well into the future. You can have us take a closer look at your case and discuss everything about it with you when you call (817) 422-5350 or contact our firm online to set up a consultation.
Driver’s License Suspension for DWI in Tarrant County
If a person is convicted of a DWI in Texas, they can face driver’s license suspensions under Texas Transportation Code § 521.344, depending on the type of DWI offense the alleged offender has been convicted of.
The period of suspension cannot begin before the date of a DWI conviction and cannot begin later than the 30th day after conviction. The following are criminal driver’s license suspensions for a DWI offense under the Transportation Code:
- First DWI offenses – 90 days to one year
- Second or subsequent DWI offenses – 180 days to two years
- Second or subsequent DWI offenses within five years of the preceding offense – One to two years
- Second or subsequent DWI Assault within five years – 90 days to one plus an additional one year
- First DWI manslaughter – 180 days to two years
- Second or subsequent DWI manslaughter within ten years – One to two years
- Under 21 DWI – One year
Texas Administrative License Revocation for DWI
If the police officer who pulled a person over on suspicion of DWI while they were operating a motor vehicle requested them to take a field sobriety test or submit to a chemical alcohol concentration test, including a breath or blood test, their driver’s license will automatically be suspended upon refusal, or even if they submit to testing and their BAC is over .08. This is considered a civil penalty and can result in a suspension, regardless if they are subsequently convicted of a DWI offense and face additional criminal penalties.
After you are requested to submit to testing, the arresting officer will inform you about the penalties for refusing to submit to testing and the suspension periods for having an alcohol concentration over .08, even if a conviction does not result.
A first DWI refusal suspension is for a period of 180 days under Texas Transportation Code § 724.035. If the individual has one or more alcohol or drug-related DWI refusals within 10 years before the current offense, their license will be suspended for a period of two years.
If an individual does submit to testing and has an alcohol concentration level (BAC) over .08, their license will automatically be suspended for a period of 90 days, whether or not they are subsequently prosecuted for DWI, according to Texas Transportation Code § 524.022. If they have previously had any alcohol-related contact on their driving record within the preceding 10 years, their license will be suspended for a one-year period.
An individual who has received an administrative license suspension can request a hearing under the Texas Transportation Code § 724.041 in writing within 15 days of receiving notice of the license suspension. An administrative license revocation hearing request will postpone the license suspension until a decision has been made on whether the license suspension was justified or not.
Fort Worth Commercial Driver’s License Suspensions
If an individual possesses a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and is convicted of a first DWI-related offense while operating any motor vehicle, their CDL will be disqualified for a period of one year under Texas Transportation Code § 522.081. If the individual had an alcohol concentration of .04 while driving their commercial motor vehicle or .08 while operating another motor vehicle, their CDL privileges will be suspended for one year, regardless if they were convicted of a DWI offense or not. If the offense involved transporting hazardous material, the disqualification period is increased to three years.
An individual can be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for life if they are convicted of two or more DWI offenses, or commit a combination of two or more of any of the following on separate occasions:
- Refuse to submit to alcohol testing,
- Are convicted of a DWI related offense,
- Have an alcohol concentration of .04 while operating the commercial vehicle, whether or not a conviction resulted, and/or
- Have an alcohol concentration of .08 while operating a motor vehicle, whether or not a conviction resulted.
Anyone who possesses a CDL and refuses to submit to testing is immediately not permitted to operate their vehicle for 24 hours under Texas Transportation Code § 522.101. A refusal to submit to testing will also lead to a disqualification from driving a commercial vehicle for one year under Texas Transportation Code § 522.081.
Juvenile DWI License Suspensions in Fort Worth
An individual who is under the age of 21 can face a license suspension for one year if they are charged and convicted of a DWI offense under Texas Transportation Code § 521.342. This is considered a criminal penalty.
According to the Texas Transportation Code § 524.022, the minor individual is also subject to an automatic administrative license suspension (civil penalty) for at least 60 days if they have any detectable amount of alcohol in their system, even if they agree to alcohol testing. If they have previously been convicted of a DWI offense, their license will be suspended for 120 days. If the minor has been convicted of two or more alcohol-related offenses, their license will be suspended for a period of 180 days.
If a person under the age of 21 refuses chemical testing of their blood or breath alcohol concentration, they are subject to the same license suspensions as individuals over the age of 21. The first refusal to consent is an automatic suspension for 180 days. A second or subsequent refusal within 10 years will lead to an automatic suspension for two years.
Fort Worth Driver’s License Procedures Resources
Texas Constitution and Statutes – Civil License Penalties — This link is to Chapter 724 of the Texas Transportation Code, which defines an administrative license revocation, or a civil penalty for DWI. Administrative license revocations can occur if the alleged offender refuses to submit to chemical testing of the blood or breath for alcohol content, or if they submit and are over the legal limit of .08. Information about administrative license revocation hearings is also included in this chapter of the Transportation Code.
Texas Constitution and Statutes – Criminal License Penalties — This link is to Chapter 521 of the Texas Transportation Code, specifically sections 521.342 and 521.344, which provide for license suspensions for DWI-related convictions. These are criminal penalties for DWI offenses, which only occur upon a conviction. A person whose license is suspended under Subsection (a) remains eligible to receive an occupational license under Subchapter L under Texas Transportation Code § 521.342(c).
Find A Tarrant County Defense Attorney for Driver’s License Procedures | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
Are you concerned about what is going to happen to your driver’s license because of a recent DWI arrest in the Fort Worth area? You need to know that there could be multiple answers to all of your many problems, but you just have to take the first step in seeking the legal help that you need.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy understands how important driving is for many people in Tarrant County, and we actively work to help keep alleged offenders on the road throughout their DWI trials and long after so they can continue to earn a living and generally continue living their lives. Our firm is ready to help you get answers to all of your legal questions as soon as you call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.