If you are arrested for driving while intoxicated, two separate court cases are initiated. The first is a criminal charge referred to as a DWI (DUI), which is prosecuted by the District Attorney's Office. The second case is a civil proceeding called an administrative license revocation hearing (ALR), which is handled by the Department of Public Safety (DPS).
An ALR suspension begins when an arrested driver refuses to submit to a breath or blood test, or when a driver fails a breath or blood test. In Texas, the law states that if a person operates a motor vehicle in a public place, they impliedly consent to providing a breath or blood specimen if arrested for DWI (DUI).
Unfortunately, the ALR suspension is an administrative proceeding, and the law does not afford an individual the same rights as it does in a criminal case. For example, in Texas, a driver's license is viewed as a privilege and not a right, so DPS does not have to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. DPS only needs to prove its case to the satisfaction of an administrative law judge.
When your driver's license is suspended, it becomes a very stressful, difficult situation. Without a driver's license, it becomes troublesome to accomplish everyday tasks. Fortunately, many people can qualify for an occupational driver's license that allows a person to drive for essential needs.
In fact, an occupational license will allow an individual to drive to their job, the store, the doctor, to a child care provider, to church, etc. Actually, this driver's license is a court order that allows an individual to drive with certain conditions. These conditions regulate the specific streets that a person can travel on and the number of hours per day a person is allowed to drive.
There are many steps involved in receiving an occupational license, so it is best to begin the process as soon as possible. If you are in a situation where you need to regain your driving privileges after a licenses suspension, contact our office. We can assist you in regaining your right to legally drive on Texas roads.
The law in Texas does not say that driving after a drink or two is per se illegal. Contrarily, the law of Texas does not say that a person has to be driving while drunk to be arrested for a DWI. The law of Texas actually says that operating a vehicle while intoxicated is a criminal offense. Specifically, the law in Texas says that intoxication can occur two ways. First, a person is intoxicated if that individual provides a breath or blood sample (BAC) of .08 or more at the time of driving. Secondly, a person is intoxicated if they have lost the normal use of their mental or physical faculties because of the introduction of alcohol, illegal narcotics, prescription medication, or a combination of these things.
Moreover, losing the normal use of your mental or physical is described as being impaired. So, if you are operating a motor vehicle, and your driving is impaired (in any way) because of the use of alcohol, Texas law says that you are driving while intoxicated.
In addition to a criminal record that will never go away, a DWI (DUI) conviction in Texas can carry some very hefty penalties. The following list contains penalties that you are facing if you convicted of your first DWI (DUI):
Up to 180 days in the County Jail Up to 2 years of probation (and up to 30 in jail as a condition for your probation), A fine of up to $2000, A Sur Charge from DPS of at least a $1000 per year for 3 years, Suspension or loss of your driver's license, Skyrocketing insurance premiums, Up to 80 hours of Community Service, Alcohol assessment and treatment, A vehicle ignition interlock device, Antabuse (a drug that you must take that makes you sick if you drink alcohol), AA meetings, Vehicle impounded, storage charges, towing fees, Confinement in a residential treatment center (lock-down facilities), Curfew, Restitution for any damage caused as a result of an accident, Anything else the Judge thinks is reasonable.
Most times, law enforcement is video recording their interaction with an accused. If an accused does not give a breath sample, the states case is based on the contenets of said video. How a person appears on said video is key in the defense of DWI/DUI cases.