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License Suspension

DWI FAQ

  • I failed or refused to submit to a breath or blood test. Is my driver’s license automatically suspended?

    No. If you request hearing through the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) process within fifteen days of your arrest, your license will remain valid until the hearing takes place. It can often take several months to schedule a hearing. Your license will be valid at least until the date of the hearing. At the hearing the State must prove certain facts. If they fail to do so, your license will not be suspended.
  • Does a person have a choice to refuse being videotaped?

    No. However, although a person has no right to refuse being videotaped, he does have the right to refuse to perform any police field sobriety exercises and to refuse to answer any questions, the answers to which, might be incriminating. Unlike breath or blood test refusals, there are no penalties for refusing to perform field sobriety tests or refusing to answer questions while being videotaped.
  • Should I refuse the breathalyzer?

    The Breathalyzer: refuse without your lawyer present unless.... Refusing to take a breathalyzer will most likely result in a suspension of your driver’s license. However, if you are being asked to take a breathalyzer, you are almost certainly going to be arrested for DWI anyway, and your real concern is avoiding a DWI conviction. UNLESS you are 100% certain you will pass the breathalyzer with flying colors (not just barely), or UNLESS you are 100% certain the officer is going to take your blood if you don’t blow (for instance, by obtaining a search warrant), do not take the breathalyzer test.
  • How long will a DWI arrest stay on my record in the state of Texas?

    If you’re convicted, the DWI will be on your record forever. If found not guilty, you can have the DWI expunged from your record and nobody will ever know it happened.
  • What should I do if the officer asks me to perform field sobriety tests?

    If you know that you can pass the tests when asked to perform them, you can choose to take them--but keep in kind many peiple can't pass them when they are sober! attempt them.

    Otherwise, tell the officer you’d like to contact a lawyer, and refuse the field sobriety tests without a lawyer present.

    Another approach you could take is asking the officer if you’re required to take the field sobriety tests. The honest answer: no, you’re not.

  • What happens if I can't afford to pay my surcharges?

    The legislature has finally recognized that there needs to be a way to provide some relief for people who simply cannot pay the surcharges. They authorized the creation of an amnesty program as well as an indigency program. The amnesty program was aimed at individuals who were in default on payment of their surcharges. DPS was authorized to reduce the surcharges to 10% of the total amount in default, not to exceed $250.00. You can also get your license back while you are making payments. The indigency program allows the amount to be reduced to 10% of the amount due, not to exceed $250. You are eligible if you are at or below 125% of the federal poverty level. An application form can be found at https://www.txsurchargeonline.com/Indigence.aspx
  • If a police officer in Texas stops me and asks if I’ve been drinking, what do I say?

    Stay polite and courteous, but do not apologize or admit to anything. Don’t try to talk your way out of anything, as you will likely incriminate yourself indoing so.

    Exercise your rights. When the officer asks you incriminating questions-How much have you had to drink? When did you have your first drink? and so on...explain that your are uncomfortable answering questions of a criminal nature without an attornery present-ask to have your attorney present for any questioning, and tell the officer you otherwise would like to exercise your right to remain silent. Regardless of his response to your statements (“You’re not under arrest” or “You don’t need an attorney”), remain silent.

  • What is an occupational driver’s license, and why would I need one?

    An occupational driver’s license is a restricted license issued by DPS which allows you to drive to and from work, school and in the performance of necessary household duties during the period of suspension. The license may limit the times you are allowed to drive to specified hours, counties or roadways.
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