Walker County Criminal Defense Attorney - Can you drive after a DWI in Texas?
Walker County Criminal Defense Attorney - Can you drive after a DWI in Texas? Brian Foley - Board Certified in Criminal Law.
Yes! With the help of a lawyer you can:
Avoid a license suspension by requesting an ALR hearing.
Get an occupational Driver's License; or
Get your case dismissed or avoid a license suspension with probation.
In Texas when you get arrested for DWI there are a few processes that take place which can limit your ability to drive. The first question I would ask you is, did you refuse to give a breath or blood sample when the officer read you the DIC-24?
The DIC-24 is a long document that the police read to you when you've been arrested for a DWI and it explains the law related to refusing to provide a breath or blood sample. Here's the most important part:
If you refuse to give the specimen, that refusal may be admissible in a subsequent prosecution. Your license, permit, or privilege to operate a motor vehicle will be suspended or denied for not less than 180 days, whether or not you are subsequently prosecuted for this offense.
So if you refuse to give a sample they are going to suspend your license for up to 180 days unless we request a hearing to avoid that suspension within 15 days of the date of arrest/refusal. That means you need to speak with an attorney quickly to help get started on your case and keep you driving. If you consent to a sample then the license suspension process only begins after 20 days have expired from the sending of a letter by DPS indicating that your blood alcohol level came back greater than 0.08.
One thing I tell clients frequently is that they need to make sure that the address listed on their driver's license is one where they can currently receive mail. Not only is this required by Texas Transportation Code 521.054, but its important because DPS is going to mail your notice of suspension letter to whatever address they have currently on file. And if you miss the letter in the mail and the 20 day deadline for a blood test failure then we miss the opportunity to win your ALR hearing. The ALR hearing is an administrative license revocation hearing which provides a method of challenging the decision of the police officer on the day that you were arrested. The police officer can be subpoenaed and made to answer questions about the case at this hearing.
If we win the ALR hearing then your license will not be suspended by DPS because of a refusal or a failure on breath or blood tests. The next step in avoiding license suspension is getting your DWI dismissed or if the most important thing to you is simply avoiding the license suspension and not beating the charge in general this can still be accomplished by taking a probation of either deferred adjudication or straight probation and on a DWI first you can avoid a license suspension by taking a required DWI education class.
Finally if all else fails or you would prefer to just pay a fine and move on with your life then we can get you an occupational driver's license with either a JP or County Court and you will be able to continue to drive even after a DWI arrest.
Here's the full language of the DIC-24 warning:
You are under arrest for an offense arising out of acts alleged to have been committed while you were operating a motor vehicle in a public place, or a watercraft, while intoxicated, or an offense under Section 106.041, Alcoholic Beverage Code. You will be asked to give a specimen of your breath and/or blood. The specimen will be analyzed to determine the alcohol concentration or the presence of a controlled substance, drug, dangerous drug, or other substance in your body. If you refuse to give the specimen, that refusal may be admissible in a subsequent prosecution. Your license, permit, or privilege to operate a motor vehicle will be suspended or denied for not less than 180 days, whether or not you are subsequently prosecuted for this offense. If you refuse to submit to the taking of a specimen, the officer may apply for a warrant authorizing a specimen to be taken from you. If you are 21 years of age or older and submit to the taking of a specimen and an analysis of the specimen shows that you have an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, your license, permit or privilege to operate a motor vehicle will be suspended or denied for not less than 90 days whether or not you are subsequently prosecuted for this offense. If you are younger than 21 years of age and have any detectable amount of alcohol in your system, your license, permit, or privilege to operate a motor vehicle will be suspended or denied for not less than 60 days. However, if you submit to the taking of a specimen and an analysis of the specimen shows that you have an alcohol concentration of less than 0.08, you may be subject to criminal penalties less severe than those provided for under Chapter 49, Penal Code. If you submit to the taking of a blood specimen, the specimen will be retained and preserved in accordance with Article 38.50, Code of Criminal Procedure. If you were operating a motor vehicle and you refuse to give the specimen or provide a specimen that shows you have an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, you may be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for a period of not less than one year. You may request a hearing on the suspension or denial. This request must be received by the Texas Department of Public Safety at its headquarters in Austin, Texas, no later than 15 days after you receive or are presumed to have received notice of suspension or denial. The request can be made by written demand, fax, or other form prescribed by the Department. I certify that I have informed you both orally and in writing of the consequences of refusing to submit to the taking of a specimen or providing a specimen. I certify that I have requested your signature below acknowledging the voluntary consent to the taking of a specimen. I certify I have provided you with a complete and true copy of this statutory warning. I am now requesting a specimen of your: Breath Blood
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