Automatic License Revocation for DWI in Texas

The large number of accidents, injuries, and deaths caused by individuals that drive while intoxicated is a major problem within the state of Texas. As a result, lawmakers have taken a series of steps to ensure that it is more difficult for individuals that drink and drive to continue driving legally. The primary mechanism used to ensure that these individuals cannot continue to legally drive after a drunk-driving incident is the Automatic License Revocation (ALR) program. The ALR program is ultimately designed to make sure that an individual that drives while intoxicated will lose his or her license for a specific period of time ranging from 30 days to two years depending on the specific circumstances. However, it is important to recognize that this program is not actually directly related to whether an individual is convicted of an alcohol-related crime or not.

In fact, an individual arrested for drunk-driving will still lose his or her license and may still have his or her license suspended for the period of time indicated by the regulations associated with the program even if he or she is eventually cleared of the charges. This is because the ALR program follows a set process that will ensure that the individual's license will actually be revoked before the individual is convicted. The process begins when an individual is driving erratically or in a dangerous fashion. In these situations, an officer may decide that there is sufficient reason to believe that an individual is driving under the influence of alcohol so the officer will pull over the individual.

Once the individual has been stopped, the officer will determine if there is probable cause to arrest the individual for driving while intoxicated by performing a series of field sobriety tests. If the individual fails these tests or performs poorly, the officer will arrest the individual and bring the individual to the police station. Once the individual arrives at the station, he or she will be asked to take a breath test. If the individual refuses to take the test or the individual fails the test, the individual's license will then be automatically revoked and the police will take his or her license. If an individual's license is revoked due to a DWI charge, the individual will be issued a temporary driving permit that is good for 40 days from the date the individual was notified of the revocation.

During the first 15 days of this period, the individual charged with DWI has the right to request a hearing to contest the license revocation. If the individual does not request the hearing during the 15-day request period or the individual does not succeed in overturning the revocation at the hearing, the individual will have his license automatically suspended for the period defined by the ALR program starting on the date the temporary permit expires. The individual will then have to pay a $125 fee to have his or her license re-instated once the suspension period has ended.

Prepared by the Grant M. Scheiner Law Firm at Houston DWI Lawyer. You can find more information on their law blog at Houston Criminal Defense Blog.

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