Your License May Be Suspended For DWI In Texas
While it is no secret that driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) is against the law, many Texans are unaware of the consequences of breaking the law. Texas DWI laws are nothing to take lightly, and one of the most severe consequences may be a long-term suspension of your driver’s license. This can be incredibly challenging to deal with as it may hamper your ability to do important things like get to work, visit your doctor, and help your family members with their needs. Let’s take a look at the impact of DWI on your driver’s license privileges in Texas, and what you could do to protect your rights.
A DWI Arrest Could Result In The Immediate Suspension Of Your Driver’s License
After being stopped by the police, if the officer suspects that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then you might be arrested and asked to take a field sobriety test. If you refuse to take this field sobriety test, then your license may get suspended or disqualified on the spot. Of course, if you take the field sobriety test and fail, as many people do, then this could also result in your license being suspended.
Typically, your license will be suspended in Texas in two key scenarios following your arrest. The first is where you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more. The second is where you refuse to provide a sample of your blood or breath to the police for purposes of a chemical test that determines your blood alcohol content.
Texas “Implied Consent” Law Requires You To Submit To DUI Testing If Lawfully Arrested
In Texas, drivers who are lawfully arrested are required to provide a blood or breath sample to determine their BAC. A lawful arrest in this context means that the police officer has reasonable suspicion to pull you over and then probable cause to believe that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Generally, the police officer chooses whether you have to take a breath test (commonly referred to as a breathalyzer test) or a blood test. Before this test occurs, the police officer must read you a warning which lets you know that they cannot physically force you to submit to testing absent a warrant, and that you will face a license suspension if you refuse to take the test.
Although you are required to submit to this test, you could refuse to take it (known as a refusal). However, the police can physically draw your blood without your consent and without a warrant in limited circumstances including one or more of the following:
• You are involved in an accident which results in someone’s death or their need for medical treatment
• You have been convicted of multiple alcohol-related offenses
• A child under age 15 is present in your vehicle
• You are suspected of intoxication assault (seriously injuring someone) or intoxication manslaughter (killing someone)
Applicable Suspension Periods For DWI
Generally, your license suspension period depends on your criminal history, age and the circumstances of your DWI arrest. Here’s what the suspension periods are:
If You Are Age 21 Or Older
• Your BAC is .08% or higher: 90 days to 1 year
• You refuse or fail to complete a blood or breath test: 180 days to 2 years
You might face the minimum suspension period if this is your first offense. The maximum suspension period typically applies if you have been previously suspended for refusing or failing to take a breath or blood test, or you have been convicted of DWI, intoxication manslaughter or intoxication assault within 10 years prior to your current arrest.
If You Are Under Age 21
• Your BAC is .01% or higher: 60 days to 180 days
• You refuse or fail to complete a blood or breath test: between 180 days and 2 years
If this is your first offense, then you might receive the minimum suspension period. The maximum suspension period typically applies if you have a combination of: prior suspensions for refusing or failing to take breath or blood tests; or convictions of DWI, intoxication manslaughter, intoxication assault or drug offenses within 10 years prior to your current arrest.
Learn more about challenging your suspension and applying for an occupational license. Turnbull Legal Group Is Here For You
Headed by a former district court judge and chief prosecutor, Turnbull Legal Group consists of highly respected and dedicated criminal defense attorneys who have helped countless Texans facing criminal charges such as DWI. We are on your side. The criminal defense lawyers at Turnbull Legal Group will carefully review your situation, help you clearly understand your options, and vigorously defend your rights so that you can get back on the road as soon as possible. Get in touch with Turnbull Legal Group by calling (832) 314-3232 or by contacting us online today for a free consultation.BACK TO BLOG