What Happens To My Physical Driver’s License And Driving Privileges After I Bond Out In A DWI Case?
The police will take your physical license once you’ve been arrested for DWI and you’re not going to get it back anytime soon. Fortunately, even though you don’t have your physical license, you don’t lose your driving privileges just because you’ve been arrested for a DWI.
When you appear in court for your DWI, the judge will probably place bond conditions on you. The most common bond condition is having an ignition interlock device installed in your car. An ignition interlock device is a machine that detects alcohol which is attached to your car’s ignition and prevents you from starting it unless you blow into it and the machine detects no alcohol. It’s expensive to have on your car, and you’ll be expected to regularly take your car in so that the ignition interlock company can download the data. The ignition interlock company will report to the judge if you’ve not taken your car in for a download or if you’ve blown positive. Some judges may allow you to remain on bond without you installing an ignition interlock if you sign a “no driving” affidavit promising not to drive at all while on bond.
What happens to your driving privileges depends on whether you consented to or refused the breath or blood test. If you consented to a breath test but blew over a .08, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the people who control your driver’s license, will suspend it for 90 days unless your lawyer contests the suspension at an ALR (Administrative License Revocation) hearing. If you consented to a blood test, DPS will wait for the results to come back before acting on your license. If the blood results come back over a .08, your license will be suspended for 90 days absent an ALR hearing. If you refused either a breath or blood test, DPS will suspend your license for 180 days unless your lawyer requests an ALR hearing.
After you were arrested, the officer should have given you a form, called a DIC-24, that explains all of these timelines and consequences. It’s important to hire a lawyer quickly because there are strict deadlines that your lawyer has to meet to request an ALR hearing.
If your lawyer wins your ALR hearing, your license won’t be suspended and you’re free to drive while your DWI case is pending as long as you follow the judge’s bond conditions. You’ll also be able to get your physical driver’s license back. If your lawyer loses the ALR hearing (which can happen to even the best of lawyers), your lawyer can appeal and delay your suspension from going into effect. But if your lawyer doesn’t appeal or if you lose the appeal, your license will be suspended.
The only way to drive once your license has been suspended is to request an occupational driver’s license from the judge handling your DWI case. The judge doesn’t have to approve your lawyer’s request for an occupational license. But if the judge does, you’ll receive a temporary license that will allow you to drive to and from work and for essential errands during a narrow range of days and hours. If you’re caught driving outside of your approved hours, you can be arrested.
For more information on Physical Driver’s License And Driving Privileges After Bonding Out In A DWI Case In Texas, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (713) 936-4521 today.
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