When you are arrested for DWI in San Antonio, DPS will try to suspend your drivers license. They can suspend your drivers license if the officer had probable cause to arrest you and if you consented to a blood or breath test and your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) was .08 or above or if you refused to give a blood or breath test. Interestingly, if you consent to a breath test and your BAC is below .08, but the officer gets a warrant to test your blood for drugs, your license cannot be suspended.
If you’re like most of my clients, you must be able to continue driving. You have a job that you need to go to, you have kids that you need to take to school, you have errands that you need to run, and you have doctor’s appointments to go to. Even if you’re drivers license does get suspended, we can keep you driving legally. When your drivers license is suspended for DWI, in most circumstances, you will still be eligible for an occupational drivers license, which allows you to continue driving with certain restrictions.
Even though we can keep you driving if your license is suspended, it’s vital to request a hearing on the drivers license suspension. The hearing is called an Administrative License Revocation Hearing (ALR Hearing). You have 15 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing on the suspension. If you don’t request the hearing, your drivers license will automatically be suspended 40 days from the date of your arrest. There are no extensions, so you or your attorney must request the hearing within the 15 day period.
The reason that the hearing is vital is not actually to keep your drivers license from being suspended. Even if we request the ALR hearing, if the officer shows up, your drivers license is probably going to be suspended. We actually want the officer to show up, because our goal in having the hearing is to get a chance to cross-examine the officer before we decide whether or not to take your case to trial.
Officers regularly make mistakes during DWI investigations. The drivers license hearing (ALR) gives us the opportunity to question the officer, under oath, about why he chose to stop you, why he decided to investigate you for DWI, how he administered the field sobriety test, and what went into his decision to arrest you. These are the same issues we would question him about in a DWI trial. At the ALR, his answers will be on the record so we know how he will likely answer at trial. If his story changes at all between the hearing and the trial, we can point out that he is not a credible witness.
When you get arrested for DWI, the state likely has a strong case against you. It’s our job to take the steps that we can to make your case stronger and the state’s case weaker. This is one of the most important steps in doing that.
If you’re being charged with DWI in San Antonio and you need to schedule a hearing to try to keep your drivers license, schedule a consultation now.