You’re likely to face several penalties if convicted of a DWI in Texas. One of the consequences many people worry about is what will happen to their driver’s license; they want to know if it will be suspended and for how long. As you can imagine, being without a driver’s license can be a huge inconvenience. It’s completely understandable that many people are concerned about this aspect of their conviction. Unfortunately, there are several instances in which you may lose your license from a period of a few months to a couple of years.
One thing that’s tricky about the way the legal system works is that you could be penalized without even taking a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) test. Your license can be suspended if you refuse to provide a breath or blood sample for testing. After refusing a test, your license may be suspended for 180 days if this is your first offense. However, if you have previously been suspended for failing or refusing a BAC test or have had a DWI, Intoxication Assault, or Intoxication Manslaughter conviction in the ten years following the date of your arrest, then your license may be suspended for two years.
If you do provide a blood or breath sample that shows a BAC of .08 or higher, following an arrest for an offense for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, your license may be suspended for 90 days if this is your first offense. This would be in addition to any fines, jail time, or probation. However, an exception to license suspension may be made for first time offenders if they are granted probation (community service) and complete a court-ordered DWI education course within 180 days of that probation. If this is NOT your first offense, then you can lose your license for one whole year.
Another important aspect to note is that individuals under 21 who are charged with a DUI (click here to learn what the difference is between a DUI and DWI in Texas) can face license suspension, too. If you’re not of legal drinking age, you will lose your license for 60 days for a first offense, 90 days for your second offense, and 180 days for your third offense. And it doesn’t matter if your BAC is lower than .08–since it’s illegal for you to drink, you can be charged with DUI if you have any alcohol in your system. Also keep in mind that for people under 21, any alcohol-related violation counts as a first offense, even if it doesn’t involve driving.
If you were charged with a DWI or DUI and can’t afford to have a conviction on your record, the best way to fight your case is to hire an experienced DWI attorney. You only have 15 days after your initial charge and arrest to request an hearing to contest your administrative license suspension. Some people simply accept their charge because they aren’t sure how the law works or don’t know how to challenge it.
The Texas DWI lawyers at Ramos & del Cueto can be the tough advocates you need. We’ll make sure your rights are being protected and that the charges against you are fair. If you need assistance in an alcohol-related case, call us today to discuss your options.