Warning: You have only fifteen days to notify DPS that you intend to fight the automatic suspension of your driver’s license.
Following an arrest for DWI, the police will attempt to secure a sample of breath or blood for analysis. If you decline to provide a specimen, DPS will attempt to suspend your driver’s license for a period of 180 days. In the event, you provide a specimen and an analysis reveals an alcohol concentration of .08 or greater, the suspension is 90 days. If you have prior suspensions due to drugs or alcohol, the suspension periods may increase. If you refused to provide a sample on two or more occasions within ten years, you may lose your driver’s license for up to two years. Inexplicably, the suspension periods for persons under age twenty-one are not as severe.
It is important to understand that your driver’s license is not suspended at the time of arrest. You do have the right to challenge the suspension. However, you have only fifteen days to notify DPS of your intent to do so. If you fail to take action, the suspension is automatic, unavoidable and begins on the forty-first day following the date of your arrest. As part of our comprehensive DWI representation, my office handles all aspect of your Fort Bend DWI arrest.
There are two primary reasons to fight the suspension. First, you may win and avoid the suspension altogether. This will save you money, hassle and preserve your driving record. But saving your driver’s license is not the only reason to fight the suspension. The ALR process is a great opportunity for us to gain valuable information about your case. Specifically, we are entitled to subpoena the officer that arrested you to question him concerning everything that happened prior to your arrest. This is important because it allows us to gets the officer’s side of the story while at the same time committing him to a single version of events. It has been my experience that officers often come to these hearings unprepared to testify. Officers frequently guess, contradict their reports, the videotape or other witnesses. I will obtain a written transcript of all testimony. This is ammunition that will be available at the criminal trial to impeach the officer in the event he tries to change his testimony.
If you are convicted of a first offense DWI, receive probation and are required to take a Texas DWI education course you will not lose your license as a result of the conviction itself, so long as you successfully complete the terms of your probation. In the event, you are convicted but do not receive a probated sentence your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for a period of 90 days to 1 year. The judge has discretion over how long the suspension will actually last. The suspension must begin no later than 30 days from the date of conviction.
Persons convicted of a subsequent DWI and who are granted probation may be restricted to the operation of a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device. The interlock is a breath alcohol testing device which is connected to a car’s ignition system. Before starting the car, the driver must blow into the device which then analyzes the specimen to determine the alcohol content. If the alcohol content is above the specified amount, the vehicle will not start. Similarly, at random intervals, while the vehicle is being operated, the interlock will request additional breath specimens for analysis. All test results are recorded and available to court personnel.
A second DWI which is punished as a class A misdemeanor but for which probation is not granted will result in an automatic suspension of not less than 180 days or more than one year.
In the event your license is suspended as a result of either the administrative or criminal case, you may be eligible to obtain an occupational driver’s license. An occupational license may enable you to drive during the period of suspension for work, school, and in the performance of essential household duties. In most circumstances, Fort Bend Courts will grant 12 hours of drive time per day. If you have prior convictions for DWI, the court may require you to install an ignition interlock as a condition of the occupational license.
Please be advised that an occupational license may not authorize operation of a commercial vehicle. It is, therefore, imperative that you challenge the automatic suspension immediately.
Segura & Kiatta, Criminal Defense
345 Commerce Green Blvd
Sugar Land, Texas 77478