When a person is pulled over for suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Denton County, he or she may have his or her driver’s license automatically suspended for refusing to submit to a chemical alcohol concentration test. The alleged offender can also be subject to driver’s license suspension if he or she does submit to the taking of a specimen but fails the chemical test.
The administrative license suspension is a civil penalty that is completely separate from any criminal penalties that may result from DWI charges. In fact, a driver may have his or her license suspended even if he or she is not charged with DWI.
License Suspension Hearings Defense Lawyer in Denton, Frisco, Lewisville, Flower Mound, TX
If you have had your license suspended for refusing to submit to chemical testing or failing a DWI test, then you will want to immediately contact an experienced Denton County criminal defense attorney. Regardless of whether you refused to submit to a test or you failed one, you only have 15 days to request an administrative license suspension hearing to get your driver’s license back.
Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy assists clients all over Lewisville with the following types of DWI matters:
- Criminal Suspension
- Administrative License Revocation
- License Reinstatement
- Occupational License
We also serve surrounding areas like Grapevine, Denton, Argyle, and Westlake, and surrounding counties, including Parker, Wise, and Cooke. Call (940) 222-8004 right now to schedule a free consultation that will let our firm review your case.
Lengths of Administrative Driver’s License Suspension in Texas
The amount of time that your driver’s license will be suspended after refusing to submit to a chemical test or failing a chemical test after submitting to one can vary depending on certain factors.
If an alleged offender submits to chemical testing and has an alcohol concentration—most frequently measured by blood alcohol concentration (BAC)—that exceeds the legal limit, then he or she may have his or her license suspended under Texas Transportation Code § 524.022 for one of the following periods:
- 90 days if he or she is an adult with no previous alcohol-related or drug-related convictions in the prior 10 years
- One year if he or she is an adult with one or more alcohol-related or drug-related convictions in the prior 10 years
- 60 days if he or she is under 21 years of age and has no previous alcohol-related convictions
- 120 days if he or she is under 21 years of age and has one previous alcohol-related conviction
- 180 days if he or she is under 21 years of age and has two or more previous alcohol-related convictions
Texas Transportation Code § 524.022 states that an alleged offender who possesses a commercial driver’s license (CDL) can be subject to the following penalties:
- One year for having a BAC of 0.04 while operating a commercial motor vehicle in a public place
- One year for having a BAC of 0.08 while operating a motor vehicle other than a commercial motor vehicle in a public place
- Three years for transporting hazardous material and having a BAC of 0.04 while operating a commercial motor vehicle in a public place or having a BAC of 0.08 while operating a motor vehicle other than a commercial motor vehicle in a public place
If an alleged offender refuses to submit to chemical testing, then Texas Transportation Code § 724.035 lists the following periods of suspension:
- 180 days if it is the alleged offender’s first refusal
- Two years if the alleged offender has refused to submit to chemical testing, was convicted of any DWI offense, or failed a chemical alcohol concentration level test in the prior 10 years
If an alleged offender who possesses a commercial driver’s license (CDL) refuses to submit to chemical testing after allegedly operating any motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Texas Transportation Code § 522.081(b)(3) states that he or she will be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for one year.
Denton County Administrative License Suspension Hearings
If the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) receives a request for a hearing not later than 15 days after the alleged offender was notified of his or her license suspension or denial, then the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) will hold an administrative hearing. Under Texas Transportation Code § 724.041, this hearing is held not earlier than the 11th day after the alleged offender was notified of his or her license suspension or denial (unless the parties agree to waive this requirement), and the request for a hearing stays the suspension or denial until the date of a final decision.
The hearing is held by an administrative law judge employed by SOAH at a location designated by this office in the county of arrest if the county has a population of 300,000 or more or in the county in which the person was alleged to have committed the offense for which the person was arrested or not more than 75 miles from the county seat of the county of arrest if the population of the county of arrest is less than 300,000.
Issues at Texas Administrative License Suspension Hearings
Texas Transportation Code § 724.042 states that the issues addressed at these hearings include whether:
- Reasonable suspicion or probable cause existed to stop or arrest alleged offenders
- Probable cause existed to believe that alleged offenders were operating motor vehicles in public places while intoxicated
- Alleged offenders were placed under arrest by officers and were requested to submit to taking specimens
- Alleged offenders refused to submit to the taking of specimens upon request of officers
According to Texas Transportation Code § 524.035, the suspension will be sustained if the administrative law judge finds that reasonable suspicion to stop or probable cause to arrest the alleged offender existed and he or she was an adult who had an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher or a minor who had any detectable amount of alcohol in his or her system while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. However, if the administrative law judge does not find in the affirmative on each of these issues, then DPS will return the alleged offender’s driver’s license to him or her, reinstate the license and rescind an order prohibiting the issuance of a driver’s license to the person.
An administrative law judge’s decision is final when it is issued and signed.
Denton County License Suspension Hearing Resources
Denton County Courts — This website contains links to both County Courts at Law, the five County Criminal Courts, Probate Court, and County Court Administration. Certain pages contain links to forms, answers to frequently asked questions, and staff listings.
1450 East McKinney Street
Denton, TX 76209-4524
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program — This page provides an overview of the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program. You can find links to office locations, hearing requests, and periods of suspension.
820 North Loop 288
Denton, TX 76209
Sanger, TX 76266
State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) — You can find office locations, scheduled hearings, and procedural rules on this website. There are also publications, reports, and Appraisal Review Board (ARB) forms.
Find A Denton County Defense Attorney for License Suspension Hearings | Law Office of Richard C. McConathy
Has your license been suspended after you failed a DWI chemical test or refused to submit to testing? Denton County criminal defense attorneys Richard C. McConathy and Brian A. Bolton have more than two decades of experience helping clients all over North Texas with all aspects of drunk driving cases.
Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy represents clients in and around Lewisville, including Flower Mound, Highland Village, The Colony, and Little Elm. We can review your case when you call (940) 222-8004 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.