How long you lose your license after a DWI in Texas depends on several factors, but you can expect a suspension that lasts anywhere from six months to two years.
How Long Will the State Suspend Your License After a DWI in Texas?
For a first-offense DWI in Texas, you will face a driver’s license suspension of 90 days to one year. If you have previous convictions for DWI, your suspension could range between six months and two years.
The duration of your suspension will increase if any of the following conditions apply to your offense:
- Your BAC exceeded 0.08
- You had a child age 14 or younger in the car
- You had an open container in the car
- You caused an accident, injury, or fatality
Does the State Suspend Your License for Underage DWI in Texas?
Texas follows a zero-tolerance standard for drivers age 21 and under. Consequently, any detectable amount of alcohol subjects an underage driver to criminal charges. The type of charge — and the duration of the license suspension — depends on the young driver’s BAC.
Underage DUI License Suspension
An underage driver will face DUI charges if his or her BAC ranged between 0.01 and 0.079. Drivers will lose their license for 60 days to six months.
Under 21 DWI License Suspension
Underage drivers who test between 0.08 and 0.149 for BAC face driver’s license suspensions as follows:
First Offense: 1 year
Second Offense: Up to 18 months
Subsequent Offense: Up to 2 years
Who Decides the Length of Your License Suspension for DWI?
At the time of your arrest for DWI, a police officer will confiscate your license and issue you a temporary permit to drive. This permit, called a Notice of Suspension and Temporary Driving Permit (Form DIC-25) outlines the procedure for requesting an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing.
This hearing, a civil proceeding overseen by an administrative law judge, will determine the disposition of your license. You must request your ALR hearing within 15 days of you arrest. If you fail to do so, the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) will suspend your license 40 days after your arrest.
At the hearing, the judge will hear testimony from you (or your lawyer), the arresting officer, and anyone else who has relevant information. Based on that testimony and other evidence in the case, the judge will rule on the length of your suspension.
How Can You Get Your License Back After a Texas DWI?
You can appeal a DWI driver’s license suspension; however, you must file your appeal within 30 days of the start of your suspension. If the appeals court reverses the original suspension, TxDPS will reissue your license.
Otherwise, you can have your license reinstated at the conclusion of your suspension period. To get your license reinstated and keep it active, you must pay an annual surcharge of $1,000 to $2,000 for three years from the date of your conviction.
Can You Get a Provisional License in Texas After a DWI?
In Texas, a provisional driver’s license — formally known as an Occupational License — can provide a legal means of driving for work and important personal needs during your DWI suspension.
To obtain a provisional license, you must petition the appropriate court in your area, using its required forms and format. If the court agrees to grant you an occupational license, the judge will direct TxDPS to issue one to you.
Not everyone will qualify for an essential needs license and, in some cases, you may face a statutory waiting period before you can petition the court to grant an occupational license.
How Can a Suspended License Lawyer Help You?
A suspended license can impede your ability to get to work, earn a living, and handle the necessary aspects of your life — such as going to the bank, the grocery store, and medical appointments.
Fortunately, you have the right to challenge your driver’s license suspension for a Texas DWI. With the assistance of a DWI suspended license lawyer, you can fight for the right to keep your driving privileges.
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can help. Some of the services we provide for our clients include:
- Scheduling your ALR driver’s license suspension hearing
- Representing you at your ALR hearing
- Appealing a Texas driver’s license suspension
- Petitioning the court for an occupational license
It is important to note that TxDPS can suspend your license even if the prosecutor drops your criminal charges or if you are never convicted for drunk driving. Having a DWI lawyer will help protect your legal rights and ensure you have someone fighting for the best possible outcome in your case.
We provide no-cost, no-obligation consultations for Texas residents who face drunk driving charges and driver’s license suspensions for DWI. Contact us today at 214-696-9253 to find out how we can help you keep your license after a DWI arrest.