Administrative License Suspension

What causes a DWI administrative license suspension?

In our state, a DWI arrest causes two types of legal cases to be filed against the accused. The first is a criminal case in a court of law. The second is a civil action taken by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) termed an administrative license suspension. The purpose of the civil action is to suspend your driver’s license. At Chernoff Law, we know that the inability to drive can greatly affect your daily life, including your ability to be employed. At our firm, experience has shown us that a trained and experienced Houston DWI attorney gives you the best chance for a successful outcome in both cases.

When a law enforcement officer suspects that you are driving while impaired, field sobriety tests can be administered. If a person demonstrates inadequate performance during these tests, they are arrested for DWI. A breath test or blood test is then offered. This begins the license suspension procedure. You will have just 15 days from the point you are notified of your driver’s license suspension to request a hearing on the matter.

ALR (Administrative License Revocation) Hearings

In order to fail a breath or blood test, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) must be .08% or higher. Exceptions to this are when the person who fails the test is a minor, or a commercial vehicle operator. These two types of individuals can have a BAC lower than .08% but still have the ALR process go into effect. If you do not request a hearing, the suspension will go into effect quickly. If you refuse a breath test, you license can still be suspended if the Department of Public Safety proves reasonable suspicion for stopping your car and probable cause to believe you were intoxicated.

This administrative license suspension of your driving privileges usually lasts from 90 days to one year. More suspension can result if there are prior DWI arrests. Refusal to take a breath or blood test, or prior DWI convictions, can result in longer license suspensions. If a hearing is properly requested, no action regarding the suspension of your license will be taken until the hearing takes place.

With proper research and preparation, an administrative license suspension hearing may result in a favorable outcome. If DPS cannot prove their case, they must return your license. This hearing can be doubly important as it can affect the DWI criminal case with which you will be ultimately involved. As former prosecutors, we are well-versed in the effective defenses needed in fighting your charges.