Common Questions About Driver’s License Suspensions After Texas DWI Arrests

Danford Law Firm Jan. 5, 2022

If the police took my driver’s license after a DWI arrest, can I still drive?

Yes, at least temporarily. When arrested for DWI, most people will have their driver’s licenses confiscated. But the officer should have given you a paper titled “Temporary Driving Permit.” This paper states that it will serve as your driver’s license for the next 40 days. After 40 days, your driving privileges will be automatically suspended by the Texas Department of Public Safety unless you request a hearing within the first 15 days after your arrest. 

Is it possible to avoid a driver’s license suspension after a DWI arrest? 

Yes. The Temporary Driving Permit states that you have 15 days to request a hearing to contest the suspension of your driver’s license. The hearing is called an administrative license revocation hearing (ALR Hearing) and it is the only way to avoid a driver’s license suspension. If you miss the 15-day deadline, then your license will be suspended at the 40-day mark. But, if you or your attorney request a hearing within the first 15 days, you can keep driving with your Temporary Driving Permit until a judge makes a final decision on the case (which typically takes a few months). 

What if the police took my license but did not give me a Temporary Driving Permit? 

Fortunately, citizens almost always receive their temporary driving permit, so double check any paperwork from the arrest to make sure that you do not have one. But if you still can’t find it, don’t worry. Try your best to remember whether it was a city police officer, sheriff’s deputy, or DPS trooper who arrested you. Depending on which agency it was, you will have to go down to the applicable “station” and ask for a temporary driving permit at the front desk. Make sure to do it soon because you still face the 15-day deadline, and you will need information from that document to request the hearing. Although people often feel a little uncomfortable going to the police station, you can rest assured that it is completely normal. Be prepared to give your name, date of birth, and the date of your arrest, and you should walk out with the right document without any problem. 

Does Danford Law Firm handle administrative license revocation hearings?

Yes. The attorneys at the Danford Law Firm have handled thousands of ALR hearings. In fact, our lead attorney, Harold Danford, is a former Director of the DWI/ALR program for the Texas Department of Public Safety. When clients retain the Danford Law Firm within 15 days of a DWI arrest, the ALR Hearing is included in our fee. If a client cannot or simply is not ready to retain our firm for the criminal case, they can choose to first retain our firm for only the ALR Hearing. 

Is an ALR Hearing worth it? 

Absolutely, it is the only way to save your license. Because citizens have fewer rights and protections in administrative hearings, however, some clients will unfortunately have their licenses suspended even when their DWI cases will eventually be won or dismissed. But, ALR hearings are also very important to DWI cases. Having an ALR hearing gives your attorney a first look at the evidence in the DWI case and, in some instances, even an opportunity to question the officer, which can make a big difference in your DWI case. 

Is there anything I can do if the judge suspends my license?

Yes. Even if the administrative judge suspends your license, most people will be eligible for an occupational license. An occupational license will allow you to drive to work and for other essential purposes during certain hours of the day until your regular license is reinstated. If you were ordered to install an ignition interlock device in your car after your arrest, then your occupational license will allow you to drive at any time of day. 

The Danford Law Firm aggressively represents clients charged with DWI and other criminal offenses in Kerrville, Boerne, Fredericksburg and throughout the Texas Hill Country, as well as in San Angelo. Our firm is led by Harold J. Danford, a former prosecutor and Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety’s DWI/ALR program.