Is someone’s license at risk after a DWI arrest?
When a police officer accuses someone of driving while intoxicated (DWI), they will arrest that driver and then give any evidence obtained during the traffic stop to a prosecutor. Those who have been accused of DWI offenses could lose their driver’s license, end up in jail and/or have to pay large fines if they are convicted of the charges they’re facing.
Many people gloss over the licensing consequences because they focus so much on the financial penalties and/or the risk of jail time. Of course, those licensing consequences can result in significant challenges for a motorist, as they may not be able to keep their job if driving is part of what they do on a daily basis. They could also lose out on promotions and other opportunities if they no longer seem reliable because they miss work or show up late because of transportation challenges. Even their child custody arrangements could be impacted if they can no longer reliably transport a child where they need to go. As a result, these potential licensing penalties should be treated with the seriousness that they deserve.
Most DWI charges lead to a license suspension
The state can automatically suspend someone’s license through a process known as administrative license suspension following a DWI rest. Those accused typically only have 15 days to request a hearing to prevent the suspension. Otherwise, they will likely lose their driving privileges 40 days after their arrest. The criminal courts could very well sentence someone to a multi-year loss of their driving privileges.
A first DWI will carry the lightest penalties, with someone’s driving privileges at risk for between 90 days and a year. Those facing a second DWI within 10 years of their first could lose their license for up to two years. Sometimes, certain factors will increase the length of a suspension, including extremely high blood alcohol levels, having a child in the vehicle or traveling with an open container of alcohol while also impaired.
Preserving a license often requires proactive efforts
From filing a hearing request quickly enough to avoid automatic licensing penalties to preparing the right evidence for such hearings, there will be numerous steps required of those hoping to preserve their driving privileges despite pending DWI charges. Additionally, people will need to defend themselves in criminal court or risk leaving their license after a DWI conviction.
Learning more about the penalties imposed by the state of Texas can help those who are facing DWI charges to make informed choices when constructing the strongest possible defense under the circumstances.