Texas is one of several states that has harsh punishments for those convicted of drinking and driving. In addition to severe criminal penalties, those facing DWI charges also could lose their right to get behind the wheel. The Administrative License Revocation is an administrative procedure that is entirely separate from the criminal case.
An Administrative License Revocation can occur after a DWI arrest when the person who was arrested refuses to submit to any form of chemical testing. It also can happen when a driver takes the breath test but blows more than the legal limit of 0.08 BAC. The conditions also apply to those charged with Boating While Intoxicated.
If a person qualifies to have his or her license revoked, the arresting officer can take the person’s Texas driver’s license and issue a temporary driving permit. Then the driver has only 15 days to request a hearing to contest the long-term suspension.
If a request is submitted to the Texas Department of Public Safety within the required time, the department will notify the driver of the date, time and location of his or her scheduled hearing. The hearing could be scheduled any time in a 120-day period.
The Administrative License Hearings are conducted by the State Office of Administrative Hearings. During the hearing, the driver is responsible for providing facts to the hearing officer who will determine if the reasons for the suspension are valid. Drivers do have a right to have legal counsel present to assist in presenting information.
However, if the driver chooses not to request a hearing, the suspension is in effect on the 40th day following the arrest. Before the driver can renew his or her license or be issued a driver’s license after the ALR process, he or she must pay a $125 reinstatement fee.
The length of the suspension varies based on several different factors, including the age of the driver, blood alcohol concentration and whether he or she refused to submit to a chemical test. For example, adults over the age of 21 could face:
- Refusal to submit a chemical test – 180-day suspension for the first offense and a two-year suspension if he or she has received a suspension for refusing to submit to a test within the last 10 years
- BAC over 0.08 percent – 90-day suspension for the first offense and a one-year suspension if the driver was suspended for failing or refusing a blood or breath test or was suspended for a DWI, Intoxication Assault or Intoxication Manslaughter conviction within the last 10 years
Drivers under the age of 21 face the same penalties if they refuse to submit to a chemical test. However, if the driver has a BAC of more than 0.08, he or she could face a 60-day suspension for the first offense or a 120-day suspension if he or she previously was convicted of an offense involving the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.