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Driving While Intoxicated ("DWI")

If you have been arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (“DWI”), or another intoxication charge while operating a vehicle, it is important that you meet with an attorney as soon as possible. You need an expert on your side to defend you through the confusing, demanding DWI process.


Driver’s License Suspension and ALR Hearings 

If you refuse the breath or blood test at the time of arrest, or if you fail the breath or blood test at the time of arrest, your license will likely be suspended by DPS. This is called an “ALR Suspension.” “ALR” stands for Administrative License Revocation. The length of the suspension mainly depends on if you refused or failed the tests, and if you have had any prior alcohol or drug suspensions or criminal charges.

DPS gives us (attorneys and the arrested person) the chance to request a hearing on the ALR suspension. If the hearing and it is granted (an “ALR Hearing”), then there is a chance for your license to be saved, and not suspended.

The deadline for us to request an ALR Hearing is usually within 15 or 20 days of receipt of the Notice of Suspension from DPS. The deadline depends on if you failed or refused the breath or blood test. If the deadline is missed, then there will be an ALR Suspension on your license.

If you hire an attorney within the deadline, they should request the ALR Hearing with the Texas Department of Public Safety, obtain the reports that DPS intends to use at the hearing, and do a thorough legal analysis to find any good defenses, if available, to save your license from being suspended. The attorney should then represent you at the ALR Hearing with that information.

If you already have an active license suspension, you may be eligible for an Occupational Driver’s License which will allow you to keep driving during the ALR Suspension. (Information on Occupational Driver’s Licenses is under “Services Offered”> “Occupational Driver’s License”)


Alcohol Monitoring Devices and Conditions of Bond

After being arrested for DWI, the court will likely want to make sure you are not consuming alcohol while you are out on bond. To monitor your alcohol consumption, the court will sometimes give you Conditions of Bond/Bail and list an Alcohol Monitoring Device as a condition. Sometimes these conditions of bond are given at the jail, and sometimes they are given at your first appearance in court. There are many different alcohol monitoring devices, including Ignition Interlock Devices (breathalyzer in your car), Portable Devices (portable breathalyzer machine you carry around with you), an in-home device (breathalyzer machine that stays in your house), or a SCRAM device (an ankle monitor that reads your alcohol content).  There is usually a tight deadline to have an alcohol monitoring device installed, and for you to submit proof of the installation to the Court. Additionally, the court will list other conditions of bond that need to be abided by such as checking in with the Community Supervision and Corrections Department.

It is very important to abide by your conditions of bond exactly, so that they Court does not violate your bond. If you are accused of a Bond Violation, there will likely be a court hearing. These can be difficult waters to navigate by yourself. If you were given Conditions of Bond, we recommend reviewing them with an attorney so that you fully understand what you need to do, and the timeline you need to follow.  


Potential Trial Issues

DWI laws and processes are not only confusing for the public, but they can also be confusing for police officers. There are many tedious rules officers must follow when investigating someone for DWI. Whether it is a new officer, or one that hasn’t brushed up on procedures lately, it is common for a police officer to make a mistake.

When we are hired on a DWI case, we spend a large chunk of time thoroughly investigating our client’s arrest. We watch Body Camera Footage, Dash Cam footage, Blood Draw footage, and other videos available to us. We comb through details of the officer’s reports, DPS reports, and any other report we receive from the State. Further, we stay up to date on Case Law (law that comes from decisions made by Judges in previous cases) to keep in the back of our minds to hopefully use in defending our clients. In many DWI cases, we are able to find legal issues with the arrest or investigation that can be raised at trial to get a “Not Guilty” verdict.  


Being Proactive with your Case

A trial is not right for every case. If a trial is not right for your case, there are still many options available to you- A Dismissal, a Conditional Dismissal, a Plea, etc. A conditional dismissal is the Court agreeing to dismiss your case, with the condition that you complete something(s) first. Sometimes the conditions are an online course, community service hours, a donation to a non-profit organization, or something else. When you “Plea” a case, you are entering into an agreement with the State on what your punishment should be. Whether it is a probation term or a short jail sentence, it is important that you have an attorney who will fight for the best deal possible for you. Sometimes, for the State to agree to a certain Plea offer, they will want to see some proactive things completed. Again, this could be online courses, community service hours, a donation to a non-profit organization, or something else.

It is important to meet with an attorney early on, so that you can get a head start on any proactive things you may need to complete. Your attorney can then use it as additional leverage to work out the best deal possible for your case.