Montgomery County DWI Attorney - Do you lose your license for a first DWI in Texas?
Montgomery County DWI Attorney - Brian Foley - Board Certified in Criminal Law
Do you lose your license for a first DWI in Texas? The answer is that it's not a guarantee and even if your license is suspended you can still drive with an occupational driver's license.
How do we do this for our clients? I'm glad you asked. First you need to understand what happens when you're arrested for a DWI in Texas. If you are pulled over or approached after a crash and the officer investigates you for a driving while intoxicated case then he is likely to ask you to do field sobriety tests. After he makes a determination that he believes you are intoxicated he will inform you that you are under arrest and that refusing to provide a breath or blood specimen will result in your license being "suspended or denied for not less than 180 days." However, this may not be entirely accurate if you hire an attorney and request an ALR hearing. The remaining portion of the form explains that you have 15 days from the date of refusal or failure of a breath or blood test to request the hearing.
So what happens if you consent to a blood test?
If you consent to a blood test, the blood will be drawn at a hospital or by a nurse at the jail, usually in two vials with grey top forensic tubes. The blood samples will then be sent to a laboratory for testing. This means that at the time of your arrest, the officer will not know your blood alcohol level and therefore cannot confiscate your driver's license. However, officers may still confiscate the license or fail to do so, depending on their training as new officers.
This means that if you consented to a blood test, your driver's license should not be suspended unless the reported result is greater than 0.08 to the DPS. So what about the 15-day deadline? The deadline will be extended to 20 days after DPS sends a letter to your current registered address, which is the address on your driver's license. If this address is not updated, you can still update it even after being arrested for DWI.
At an ALR hearing, your attorney can subpoena the arresting officer, request discovery, review the video, cross-examine police officers, and fight to win the hearing. If you win the ALR hearing, your license will not be suspended due to the refusal or failure. This can help you avoid costly occupational driver's licenses, loss of employment, and other driving-related issues.
What happens if your license is suspended or you lose the ALR hearing? In the scenario that you lose your ALR hearing or your license is suspended you can apply for an occupational driver's license. This occupational license allows you to continue to drive for work, church, groceries, and other basic necessities during a period of suspension. That's right. Even if your license gets suspended you may still be able to drive. Different courts have different requirements which may include SR-22 insurance as well as the possibility of an interlock device being installed in your vehicle. An Interlock device is a machine that attaches to your car and takes a picture of you as you blow into the device. It then measures the alcohol in your breath and if it is above a certain limit then your vehicle is disabled from starting. These can be avoided in some cases so don't feel like this is a certainty for your case.
Remember, just because you are arrested for DWI does not mean your driver's license has to be suspended, even if you believe you are guilty or refused to provide a blood or breath sample. If you have been charged with DWI in Woodlands Texas, Conroe Texas, or Montgomery County, Texas, contact an experienced attorney today for a consultation.
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