Driving While Intoxicated and Your Driver’s License
When you are arrested for Driving While Intoxicated, there are many things to consider when you are released from jail. But it is very important that you don’t overlook your Driver’s License.
Generally, if your license is taken from you when you are arrested, you will be given a Texas DPS form that serves as your license for 40 days. Please read that form carefully as it contains important information about your license.
For instance, it states that you have only a limited time to contact DPS and request a hearing regarding your license called an Administrative License Revocation Hearing [ALR].
See below from the DPS website relating to this ALR Process:
“The Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program is a civil administrative process unrelated to criminal court proceedings. The ALR Program applies to individuals arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) and refuse to take or fail a blood or breath test.
Individuals who refuse or fail a blood or breath test following an arrest for DWI may have their driver license suspended from 90 days to 2 years. Refusal or failure of this test will also result in an automatic one-year disqualification for individuals with a commercial driver license.
ALR Process for DWI or BWI If a law enforcement officer has reason to believe a driver is impaired, a set of field sobriety tests will be administered. If the driver performs poorly on the field sobriety tests then the driver will be arrested for DWI or BWI.
- The driver is asked to take a breath or blood test to measure his/her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level.
- The driver is served a notice that his/her driver license will be suspended if he/she refuses to take or fails the field sobriety test. (Registering a 0.08 BAC or greater is considered failing.) The individual then has 15 days from the date the suspension notice is served to request a hearing.
- If a hearing is not requested, the suspension goes into effect on the 40th day after the notice was served. (This is usually 40 days after the arrest.)
- For various reasons, including delayed or missing paperwork, the 40 days can be retroactive or back-dated from the date of notice.
- The law enforcement officer will take the individual’s driver license and issue a temporary driving permit.
- A $125 Reinstatement fee is required prior to the renewal or issuance of a driver license.
Hearings for ALR In certain circumstances, individuals may be eligible to request a hearing for an administrative license revocation (ALR) to contest the suspension of their driver license. If the request is submitted within the required 15 days, DPS will send a letter to the individual to the address on record. The letter will provide the date, time and location of the hearing. Please allow up to 120 days for the hearing to be scheduled. Requests made after the required 15 days will be denied and the individual will be notified by mail.
Hearings are conducted by the State Office of Administrative Hearings. During the hearing, the individual is responsible for providing facts to the hearing officer who will determine if the reasons for the suspension are valid.
NOTE: If you have already been through the administrative hearing process and the decision resulted in the suspension of your driver license, you may be eligible to appeal that decision.
Occupational License Individuals may be eligible to apply for an occupational license while their driver license is suspended or revoked. To learn more about occupational licenses or to determine if you may be eligible to apply, please visit our Occupational License webpage.
Driver Eligibility Status For individuals who are required to submit compliance documents (i.e. certificate of completion, SR-22, etc.) their driver eligibility status will change from “ineligible” to “eligible” on the License Eligibility website once all documents have been processed and fees have been paid.”