Understanding DWI Related License Suspensions in Texas
What are the grounds for a license suspension?The following are grounds for an administrative license suspension: 1) Refusal to submit to a blood or breath test; 2) Submitting a specimen with a BAC content of .08 or greater; 3) Being a minor and submitting a specimen with a BAC greater than .00; or 4) Being convicted of DWI or related offense (TPC 49.04, 49.045, 49.06, 49.07, or 49.08).
When does the suspension begin?A suspension for refusing to submit a specimen or submitting a specimen above the legal limit will begin on the 40th day after the date the person receives notice of the suspension. Generally, a person receives notice of the suspension when he is issued a temporary driving permit.
The 40 day temporary driving permit may be extended if a hearing is requested within 15 days of receiving notice of the suspension. The temporary permit will be extended until a final ruling is made. At that time, the suspension will begin.
A suspension resulting from a conviction is effective between 0 - 30 days of the date of conviction, as determined by the Court
How long does a suspension last?The duration of a suspension shall be: 1) 90 days for submitting a blood or breath specimen above the legal limit if the person does not have any alcohol or drug related contacts on his driving record within the last 10 years; 2) One year for submitting a blood or breath specimen above the legal limit if the person has alcohol or drug related contacts on his driving record within the last 10 years; 3) 180 days for refusing to submit a blood or breath specimen if the person does not have any alcohol or drug related contacts on his driving record within the last 10 years; 4) Two years for refusing to submit to a blood or breath specimen if the person has alcohol or drug related contacts on his driving record within the last 10 years; 5) 60/120/180 days for a minor submitting a blood or breath specimen above .00 with 0/1/2 or more previous alcohol convictions; or 6) 180 days - 2 years upon conviction of an intoxication offense, as determined by the Court.
What are my options if my license is suspended?First, a hearing may be requested within 15 days of notice to challenge the suspension. Second, a person may obtain an Occupational Driver's License. A person should consult an attorney to determine if he is eligible to obtain an Occupational Driver's License.
Additional resources provided by the author
Texas Penal Code, Chapter 49 Alcohol and Beverage Code, Chapter 106 Transportation Code, Chapters 521, 524, and 724
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