Texas DWI FAQs
Answers to Common Drunk Driving Arrest Questions
Q. I took a breath test and failed. Does that mean I am guilty?
A. Definitely not. Especially if your breath test was administered 45 minutes or more after your arrest, the outcome is not always reliable. The results of a breath test are only circumstantial evidence, and it is the state’s burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was over the legal limit at the time of driving for you to be found guilty. Your guilt is by no means automatic just because you failed the Intoxilyzer.
Q. What are the pros and cons of refusing a breath test?
A. Pros: It makes a case more difficult for the state to prove. Cons: The state can use your refusal against you to suggest or imply that you are guilty. It is important to note that, if you were more than two times the legal limit, the administrative surcharges imposed by the Department of Public Safety to reinstate your license or obtain an occupational driver’s license (ODL or “essential need” license) go up considerably.
Q. I just got arrested for DWI. What happens to my license now?
A. If you fail or refuse a chemical test at the police station to measure the alcohol concentration in your blood, the arresting officer will serve you with a notice of suspension and confiscate your license. You have 15 days from the notice of suspension to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. You may be issued a temporary driving permit that will be valid until your administrative license revocation hearing. If you fail to request an ALR hearing, the automatic suspension of your license starts in 40 days.
Q. Will I have to go to jail if I’m convicted?
A. Not necessarily. In fact, most first offenders do not. In Tarrant County, Texas, if the charge is a misdemeanor there is a good chance you can avoid jail either through probation or by participating in the County’s Labor Detail Program.
Q. How much will this cost me?
A. A DUI/DWI arrest can be an expensive ordeal. There are various costs, including fines, court costs, probation fees, administrative surcharges, fees to get an occupational driver’s license, higher car insurance rates and fines that could be in the thousands, even tens of thousands, of dollars.
Q. Should I call a lawyer?
A. Yes! And the sooner you do, the better. Protect your rights. Talk to an experienced Texas DUI/DWI defense lawyer TODAY! Contact attorney David E. Cook by phone or e-mail for a free consultation. Let’s get started right away on protecting your driver’s license and preparing your defense.