If you are like most drivers, driving makes you feel free and independent. What most drivers seem to forget is that driving is a privilege. Therefore, they feel disoriented if their driver’s license gets suspended after they’ve been arrested for DUI.
Every state has a law requiring the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to suspend the driver’s license of anyone operating a vehicle who:
- Has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or above.
- Declines or fails to take a chemical blood or breath test to determine his or her BAC level.
This law was implemented in 1990 as a way to deter drunk driving. If you are arrested for driving under the influence, and your breath test result shows a BAC of more than .08%, the police officer with give you an Order of Suspension/Revocation. Along with this order, you will be given a temporary driver’s license which is valid for a month. At the end of the month, the suspension action will be in effect. Keep in mind that the temporary driver’s license will not allow you to operate your vehicle if there is another court-imposed driver’s license action in effect.
Can I Challenge The Driver’s License Suspension?
There is a 10-day window where you can freely challenge the driver’s license revocation or suspension. You can request a hearing to show that the suspension/revocation is not justified. You need to submit a review at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). Here’s what you need to remember:
- Before the hearing and upon requesting a review, you need to obtain copies of the DMV’s evidence. If you need to provide copies for someone else, such as your DUI attorney, you should authorize your attorney by giving a signed permission.
- You have the right to represent yourself, or an attorney may represent you at the hearing. You can also present oral testimony and other evidence.
- You can either have an informal or a formal hearing. A formal hearing means that the police officers will be subpoenaed to offer their testimony in court. An informal hearing means it’s just going to be you and the hearing officer.
- If the hearing decision is in your favor, your license will be reinstated on that day. The suspension will not go into effect.
- If the result is not favorable, you can submit a written request for a department review; however, you need to pay a fee which amounts to $120.
If you or your attorney, who is familiar with DWI license issues in Houston, fails to challenge the revocation or suspension of your driver’s license within 10 days, the six-month suspension will be in effect and you will lose your right to challenge it.
How Long Will My Driver’s License Be Suspended?
If you are unsuccessful at the hearing, and if you took a breath or blood test with a BAC result of 0.08% or more, your driving privilege will be revoked.
- 4 months for first offense:
- 1 year for second DUI offense or have previous convictions over the past 10 years
The court-ordered DUI probation bans an individual who was previously convicted of DUI from operating his vehicle with any amount of alcohol in his blood.
How Can I Reinstate My Driving Privilege After Suspension?
- Pay a fee that amounts to $125 to DMV
- File an SR-22, a certificate that proves your financial responsibility.
- Provide a $35,000 cash deposit or surety bond
- Continue to present SR-22 for 3 years
Michael Busby Jr.
2909 Hillcroft Suite 350
Houston, Texas 77057
Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com