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Automatic License Suspensions for DWI 1st

When a person has been arrested for Driving While Intoxicated, usually one of his first concerns is the status of his driver's license. This blog focuses on the driver's license ramifications involved with a first-time DWI.

Criminal defense attorneys will always advise you to never voluntarily take a breath or blood test. However, it is important to realize that the Texas Department of Public Safety will suspend your driver's license for 180 days for refusing either of these tests. If you take a breath or blood test and fail (i.e. your BAC level is higher than the legal limit of 0.08), your driver's license will be suspended for 90 days. Please understand that, although a refusal actually results in a longer driver's license suspension, one should always refuse these tests. Defending DWIs is much more difficult, though certainly not impossible, when there is a breath or blood test involved.

After your arrest, the officer will give you a temporary driving permit. This will act as your license, allowing you to drive, for 40 days from the date of the arrest. After that 40 days, the license will be suspended (90 days for a test failure or 180 days for a refusal). A person is entitled to request a live or telephonic hearing to contest the license suspension. This request must be done within 15 days of the arrest. If a hearing request has been made, the 40 days no longer applies and instead the license will not be suspended until after the hearing has been held (if the person loses at the hearing).

Another important aspect to keep in mind is that a person can typically get an occupational license during the suspension period. I will be writing a blog soon addressing occupational licenses and that blog will cover that basics of these types of licenses.

If you've been arrested for DWI, remember that your driving privileges are now in jeopardy. Contact my office immediately so that we can begin prepare your DWI defense and also keep you driving legally.

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