I handle various criminal defense cases in Texas. Some of the Texas Statutes can affect a person’s Texas drivers license. Call or contact me at 512-340-7300 or 512-713-0015. I work very hard to keep my client’s license from being suspended and also to keep their records clean.
Administrative Driver’s License Revocation Suspension Over 21
For Texas drivers who are 21 and older, there are a certain set of rules regarding an administrative driver’s license revocation suspension. There is what is called alcohol or drug related enforcement contacts. There are 3 categories of enforcement contacts described in Texas Transportation Code Section 524.001(3):
- A conviction for driving while intoxicated
- A refusal to submit to the taking of a breath or blood specimen following an arrest for driving while intoxicated.
- Having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more following an arrest for driving while intoxicated.
For a first time alcohol related or drug related enforcement contact where a driver consented to an alcohol test and had an alcohol concentration of .08 or above, there is a 90 day driver’s license suspension. For someone with 1 or more enforcement contacts in the last 10 years, a specimen failure will result in a 1 year driver’s license suspension.
For a first time enforcement contact, a refusal to submit to a peace officer’s taking of a specimen will result in a 180 day suspension. For someone with 1 or more enforcement contacts in the last 10 years, a specimen refusal with result in a 2 year driver’s license suspension.
Administrative Driver’s License Revocation Suspension Under 21
Texas drivers under 21 have a different set of penalties and can be punished for having any amount less than .08 alcohol concentration as well as above .08.
Any Detectable Amount of Alcohol
For a 1st offense with no prior suspension for a conviction of an offense in the sections of Penal Code Chapter 49, or the Alcohol and Beverage Code Chapter 106 ‘driving or operating a watercraft under the influence by a minor’, there is a 60 day drivers license suspension for “any detectable amount of alcohol.” Also a test failure of .08 or above will result in the same length of suspension of 60 days.
For a 1st offense refusal case, a driver under 21 will have the same 180 suspension that an adult would have for refusing the request of a peace officer to submit to the taking of a specimen.
For a driver under 21 stopped accused of a second offense listed above, “any detectable amount of alcohol” will result in a 120 day driver’s license suspension if there is only one previous conviction. If there are 2 previous convictions the suspension will be 180 days.
Specimen Failure With Subsequent Offense
For a driver under 21 with one previous conviction, a suspension period will be 120 days for providing an alcohol concentration of .08 or more. With two or more previous convictions the suspension period is 180 days in a .08 failure case.
Subsequent Offense Specimen Refusal
Under 21 drivers refusing to take a specimen while having a previous suspension for a conviction described above, are looking at a 2 year driver’s license suspension.
How Long is Your License Suspended For a DWI in Texas?
The suspension period for a Texas DWI will vary depending on your previous record. A conviction for a 1st time DWI, and sentenced to jail time instead of probation, will result in a 90 days to 1 year driver’s license suspension.
If a driver is convicted and sentenced to jail time for a subsequent offense, the suspension range will be 180 days to 2 years. But if the previous conviction was within 5 years of the current arrest the suspension is 1 to 2 years.
What Happens to My License With a Felony DWI Charge?
For a person convicted for DWI with a Child Passenger, the suspension period is 90 days to 1 year. Intoxication Assault with result in 90 days to 1 year for the first offense. It will be a 1 year suspension on a 2nd or subsequent offense within 5 years. Intoxication Manslaughter convictions will suspend a driver’s license for 180 days to 2 years for a first offense. The 2nd or more will be 1 to 2 years if the previous offense was within 10 years of the first offense.
What Happens to My Driver’s License if I Get Probation?
There is usually no driver’s license suspension if the sentence is probated and the person completes the driver education program with a certain amount of time. A jury may also recommend that driver’s license not be suspended.
Driver’s License Suspension for Drug Offense Convictions
The following drug related offense convictions will result in an Automatic Driver’s License Suspension of 180 days:
- A drug offense
- A felony driving offense with Penal Code 49 involving the Texas Controlled Substances Act 481
- An offense under the Federal Controlled Substances Act
- DWI involving a controlled substance
- Intoxication Assault involving a controlled substance
- Intoxication Manslaughter involving a controlled substance
Driver’s License Suspensions for Other Offenses
If a person requiring registration for a sex offense fails to renew an annual driver’s license or ID, they are revoked until the person applies again for original or renewal.
A graffiti conviction can result in a driver’s license suspension of up to a year.
Purchasing or furnishing alcohol for a minor convictions are 180 days for the first offense and 1 year for subsequent convictions.
Tampering with a Government Record ie. license plate, registration, inspection sticker convictions result in a 2 year DL suspension.
Theft of motor fuel is a 180 day suspension and 1 year for subsequent convictions for the crime.
What are the License Suspensions for Offenses Under 21?
For people under 21, some of the license suspension periods vary compared to adults. Some are more severe. The following offenses require, if convicted, a 1 year suspension and for subsequent convictions 18 month suspension:
- A misdemeanor offense under Ch 481 of the Health and Safety Code
- An offense other than a fine only misdemeanor of the Alcohol and Beverage Code
- An offense under the Health and Safety Code Ch 483 Dangerous Drugs
- An offense under Health and Safety Code Ch 485 Abusable Volatile Chemicals
- Driving While Intoxicated
- Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger
- Intoxication Assault
- Intoxication Manslaughter
Under 21 Offenses Involving Tx. Alcohol and Beverage Code Ch 106
Convictions for minors involving possessing and purchasing alcohol will involve a driver’s license suspension. The length is as follows:
- 30 days with no previous convictions
- 60 days with 1 previous conviction under this section
- 180 days with 2 or more previous convictions under this section
For minors who fail to provide proof of an alcohol awareness course, there can be consequences. If a minor does not provide proof of the course within 90 days, there can be up to a 6 month license suspension. With 1 or more previous convictions under this section the license suspension may be up to 1 year. The court may extend the 90 day period of proof of the alcohol class. Usually with a decent excuse, I have been able to get an extension from the court.
How Much are Surcharges in Texas?
Surcharges are the drivers license fees paid to the state separately from any court fees or fines. Intoxicated driving surcharges are as follows:
- $1,000 per year for 3 years no DWI conviction for DWI within the previous 36 months
- $1,500 per year for 3 years if it is a 2nd or subsequent conviction within a 36th month period
- $2,000 per year for 3 years if it is shown at trial that the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration was .16 or higher at the time of analysis
Driving While License Invalid Conviction Surcharge
A driver convicted for driving while license invalid or without financial responsibility is subject to a surcharge as well. If within the previous 36 months the person has been convicted of no insurance, suspended registration or another DWLI the surcharge is $250 per year for 3 years. If charged with No Insurance and the driver obtains 6 month prepaid financial responsibility within 60 days, the surcharge will be reduced to $125 per year for 3 years.
What is the Penalty for Driving Without a Valid License
The surcharge for driving without a valid license is $100 a year for 3 years unless the person obtains a driver’s license within 60 days. The surcharge will then $50 per year for 3 years.
Suspended Commercial Driver’s License
Driving with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) while operating any motor vehicle creates an extra need for awareness on the road. A driver with a CDL will be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle if convicted of enough serious traffic violations, which are the following:
- excessive speeding, 15 or more above post speed limit
- reckless driving
- improper or erratic lane changes
- following too closely
- violation of state or local law in relation to a fatality
2 convictions of the previous serious traffic violations list within 3 years will disqualify the driver from operating a commercial motor vehicle for 60 days. 3 conviction within 36 months will suspend the cdl driver from operating a commercial motor vehicle for 120 days.
The following circumstances will suspend a person’s CDL for 1 year:
- 3 railroad grade violations in 3 year period.
- conviction of DWI, DWI with Child Passenger, Intoxication Assault
- Leaving Scene of Accident
- Using motor vehicle in the commision of a felony
- Causing a death by criminal or negligent operation of a motor vehicle
- Driving commercial motor vehicle while suspended, cancelled, revoked or disqualified
- Refusing to submit to a test under Transportation Code Ch 724 while operating a motor vehicle
- By blood, breath or urine an alcohol concentration was .04 or more or a controlled substance present in a commercial motor vehicle in public
- Had an alcohol concentration of .08 or more operating a motor vehicle (other than a commercial motor vehicle) in public
The following circumstances will suspend a person’s CDL for 3 years:
- Previously convicted requiring 1 year suspension and the commercial vehicle is transporting hazardous material requiring placard
- Refusing to submit to a test under Transportation Code Ch 724 while operating a vehicle requiring to be placarded
- By blood, breath, or urine an alcohol concentration was .04 or more or a controlled substance present while operating a commercial motor vehicle transporting hazardous material required to be placarded
- Had an alcohol concentration of .08 or more while operating a (non-commercial) motor vehicle in public while transporting hazardous material required to be placarded
Commercial Drivers License Suspended for Life
This can be the end of a career of legally operating a commercial motor vehicle. The following will suspend a CDL for life:
- Convicted 2 or more times of an offense requiring a 1 year suspension
- A driver uses a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony involving the manufacture, distribution or dispensing of a controlled substance or possession with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance
- Any combination of 2 or more of the following, arising from 2 or more separate incidents
- a conviction for an offense requiring a 1 year suspension.
- refusing a test under Transportation Code Ch 724 and
- an analysis of the blood, breath or urine determined that it was .04 or higher or had a controlled substance while operating a commercial motor vehicle or
- had an alcohol concentration of .08 or more while operating a (non-commercial) motor vehicle
- If the person uses a motor vehicle in the commission of an offense involving transportation, concealment, or harboring of an alien.
Check My Driver’s License Status
Use the following link to check your Texas driver’s license status. Keep in mind that suspensions are usually delayed possibly for weeks to months on the website. Call Attorney Eric Torberson for help with your case. Thanks!