You can be charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI Austin Texas) if you are operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher or operating a motor vehicle without your mental or physical faculties. An arrest for DWI in Texas has several factors that contribute to the arrest and prosecution of the case. This includes the fact that you can be arrested for a DWI even if you have not consumed any alcohol or drugs. Section 49.01 of the Texas Penal Code defines “intoxicated” as: not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances into the body; or having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. The State can request a toxicology report to examine the blood that was drawn. In short, if you have taken drugs but have not consumed alcohol, you can still be charged with a DWI.
Immediately after being arrested for DWI in Texas, many clients ask, “Is a DWI a felony in Texas?”. The short answer is yes. However, the arrest is simply the beginning of the process.
What Happens to your Driver’s License when Receiving DWI Austin Texas?
If you are arrested for Driving While Intoxicated your driver license may be suspended under the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program. This process is a civil administrative process that is not related to the criminal court case. The ALR Program may result in a suspension of your license regardless of the outcome of your criminal case. Your license may be suspended even if your charges are dismissed or you are found not guilty at trial.
The arresting officer will confiscate your driver’s license and will give you a temporary driving permit. Your driver’s license will be suspended approximately 40 days after the date of arrest. If you volunteer a breath or blood sample, your driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days. If the officer gets a warrant for your blood, your driver’s license will be suspended for 180 days.
Texas DWI Laws dictate that if you arrested and refuse and/or fail a breathalyzer/blood test you will be receive notice that your Texas driver’s license will be suspended. From the date of this notice, you have 15 days to request a DWI Driver’s License Hearing. If you fail to request a DWI Driver’s License Hearing the suspension automatically begins on the 40th day after the notice has been served, which is typically 40 days after the date of your arrest.
You have 15 days to request an Administrative License Review hearing. This is a civil hearing that takes place at the State Office of Administrative Hearings. This hearing is only about your driver’s license suspension and has nothing to do with your criminal case. At this hearing, the state is required to prove 2 things:
- That you were driving; and
- That you had ANY alcohol in your system.
If you gave a breath or blood sample, those results will be available for this hearing. If you did not give a breath or blood sample, but admitted to drinking any alcohol, the state will use those admissions to prove that you were drinking.
It is essential the request for the DWI Driver’s License Hearing is submitted prior to the 15-day deadline. If the request is submitted past the 15-day time period, the hearing will be denied.
The hearing can take up to 120 days to be scheduled. The hearing consists of the several steps:
- The Department of Public Safety must submit an arrest report to the presiding judge.
- The police report will be admitted as evidence without testimony or the arresting officer will be present (if subpoenaed by the accused).
- The accused can provide the facts of the case to the hearing officer and fight the suspension of the driver’s license.
- The presiding judge will then review the case and rule on the validity of the suspension.
The Hull Firm provides representation at the hearing for our clients, including discovery requests, review of available video/audio, identifying flaws in the case and ultimately fighting to retain your driving privileges.
Texas State Capitol building in Austin, Texas
What happens when my license gets suspended? How can I keep driving if I receive a DWI Austin Texas?
You can get an Occupational Driver’s License (ODL). There are requirements and restrictions though. To obtain an ODL, you will need to acquire an abstract of your driving record, an SR-22 and a copy of a pay stub or sign an affidavit stating that you need an ODL to go work or school. Keep in mind, there are requirements and restrictions.
What is an SR-22? What do I need to know about an SR-22 if I’m arrested for a DWI Austin Texas?
An SR-22 is a particular type of insurance. This insurance is required by law if you have an Occupational Driver’s License. If you already have insurance for your vehicle, you are still required by law to get the SR-22. Most insurance providers can issue an SR-22. The form certifies that an individual has obtained the minimum liability insurance required by Texas law. Your insurance provider will automatically notify the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) when an SR-22 is cancelled, terminated or lapses.