Will I Lose My License After a DWI Stop in Abilene?

March 21, 2024 | By David M. White
Will I Lose My License After a DWI Stop in Abilene?

If you're facing a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) charge in Abilene, Texas, one of your immediate concerns might be the status of your driving privileges. Texas laws on DWI are strict, with significant consequences for those found guilty.

Here, an Abilene DWI defense lawyer breaks down what you need to know about the potential impact of a DWI stop on your driver's license.

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What Happens to My Driving Privileges Immediately After a DWI Stop?

Will I Lose My License After a DWI Stop in Abilene

Following a DWI stop, you risk losing your driving privileges in two main ways: Administrative License Revocation (ALR) and criminal penalties upon conviction.

Administrative License Revocation (ALR)

The ALR process is an immediate action by the Texas Department of Public Safety. If you are arrested for DWI and fail or refuse to take a breath or blood test, you face an automatic license suspension.

The suspension period can range from 90 days to two years, depending on the specifics of your case, such as whether it's your first offense or if you refused the testing​​.

Criminal Penalties Upon Conviction

Should you be convicted of DWI, additional suspension periods apply. These are separate from the ALR and are as follows:

  • First-time DWI offenders may see their license suspended for 90 days to one year.
  • The suspension period for those with prior convictions ranges from 180 days to two years.
  • Special circumstances, such as a DWI with a minor in the vehicle, can lead to longer suspensions​​​​.

Fighting for Your License

Your driving privileges are immediately at stake when arrested for DWI in Texas. 

Here's a step-by-step guide on the ALR hearing process, which gives you a chance to fight for your license:

  • Request Deadline: You must request an ALR hearing 15 days from your DWI arrest. Missing this deadline leads to automatic license suspension 40 days post-arrest.
  • How to Request: Submit your ALR hearing request to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Ensure it's within the 15-day window to avoid automatic suspension.
  • Hearing Scheduling: DPS will schedule your ALR hearing after receiving your request. This administrative process is separate from your criminal DWI charges.
  • At the Hearing: DPS must prove the legality of the stop and arrest and your intoxication level or refusal to test. You can present your evidence, question witnesses, and challenge DPS's case. Having an Abilene DWI defense attorney is beneficial.
  • Outcomes: If the judge rules against you, ALR guidelines mandate the suspension of your license. Winning the hearing overturns the suspension but doesn't affect your criminal DWI case.
  • Post-Suspension: If suspended, you might qualify for an occupational license, allowing limited driving for essential activities. This requires a separate application.

Hiring a skilled Abilene DWI attorney can significantly improve your chances of maintaining your driving privileges. This process is an early step in addressing the consequences of a DWI arrest in Texas, emphasizing the importance of prompt and informed action.

Regaining Driving Privileges

Regaining Driving Privileges I DWI Stop in Abilene

In Texas, facing a suspension of your driving privileges due to a DWI does not necessarily mean you are without options to drive again, particularly for essential needs. The law allows for obtaining a restricted license, commonly called an occupational license, which gives hope to those who rely on their ability to drive to sustain their livelihood, continue their education, or fulfill other critical life functions.

This special license type allows individuals whose regular driver's licenses have been suspended or revoked due to driving offenses, including DWIs, to drive under specific, court-approved conditions. Typically, the occupational license permits you to drive to and from work, school, and other essential duties such as attending medical appointments or performing household responsibilities. It's a tailored solution, acknowledging that even though one might face penalties for a DWI, the absolute prohibition from driving can unduly hamper one's ability to lead a productive life.

Obtaining an occupational license requires going through a legal process that involves petitioning a court and demonstrating the necessity of driving for essential daily functions. The court will consider the petition and, if granted, will specify the terms that the individual is allowed to drive. This may involve imposing restrictions on the times of day, purposes for driving, and the specific routes you can take.

A critical component of the occupational license for those convicted of DWI is the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on any vehicle the individual intends to drive. This device is a breathalyzer for an individual's vehicle, requiring the driver to provide a breath sample before the engine starts. If the breath sample detects any alcohol, the vehicle will not start.

This measure safeguards against further instances of DWI by ensuring the driver remains sober behind the wheel. Requiring an IID is not just a precautionary measure but also functions as a rehabilitative tool, assisting individuals in maintaining sobriety during moments when they might consider driving after consuming alcohol.

While obtaining an occupational license offers a ray of hope, you need to understand that this is not an automatic right. The process involves legal scrutiny and the demonstration of genuine need, coupled with a commitment to adhere to the restrictions imposed by the court. For many, the ability to secure an occupational license can mean the difference between maintaining employment and facing significant personal and financial hardships.

Contact an Abilene DWI Defense Lawyer Today

The prospect of losing your driving privileges after a DWI stop in Abilene is real and can have profound implications on your daily life.

If you're facing a DWI charge, consulting with an experienced Abilene DWI defense attorney can provide you with the best course of action tailored to your situation. This legal professional can guide you as you navigate the complexities of the legal process, ensuring your rights are protected and exploring potential avenues for a favorable outcome.

Remember, a DWI charge does not have to be the end of the road for your driving privileges or your future. Reach out to an criminal defense attorney in Abilene today to secure strong legal representation and increase your chances of minimizing the impact of the charges on your life.

David M. White Author Image

David M. White


David M. White is an attorney with offices in Abilene and San Angelo, Texas. His practice is focused on Personal Injury cases and Criminal Defense. Mr. White attended Texas Tech University where he earned a B.B.A. in Finance in Honors Studies in 2002, graduating magna cum laude. He received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Texas Tech University School of Law in 2006.

If you, a friend, or family member need legal advice, please feel free to contact our firm for a free consultation with David White, a Personal Injury attorney in Abilene, Texas.

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