The Texas Department of Public Safety announced 89,457 driving while intoxicated charges in 2021. When it comes to drunk driving in the state, the consequences can be severe.
One of the immediate repercussions of a DWI conviction is the suspension of your driver’s license by the DPS. This administrative action, known as the Administrative License Revocation program, is a civil penalty that is separate from the criminal aspects of the case.
How ALR works
The ALR program comes into play after the report of a person having a blood alcohol content of 0.04% or higher while operating a commercial vehicle or 0.08% or higher in a passenger vehicle. It also applies when a person refuses to take a BAC test.
For refusing to take the test, the suspension is 180 days for a first offense and two years for subsequent offenses. If your BAC is over the limit, the suspension is 90 days for a first offense and one year for subsequent offenses.
How suspension works
The process begins when an officer arrests an individual for DWI and serves them with a notice of suspension. This notice informs the individual about the driver’s license suspension and alerts them of when it will happen unless they take action to contest it. In cases where testing involves a blood sample, which may take time to process, the person may receive the notice by mail.
Individuals facing ALR suspension have the option to request a hearing within 15 days of receiving the notice to appeal the impending suspension. If the person does not request an appeal, the suspension goes into effect on the 40th day after the service of the notice.
How license reinstatement works
Once the suspension period is over, individuals must pay a reinstatement fee to regain their driving privileges. This fee varies depending on the number of prior ALR suspensions.
Navigating the ALR program in Texas can be a complex and challenging process. Individuals facing DWI charges must be aware of their rights and the consequences they may face, including potential suspension to properly defend themselves.