One of the harshest consequences of a third-offense DWI conviction in Amarillo is the license suspension. Many individuals live in areas without public transportation, and driving to work is necessary for their livelihood. For this reason, anyone facing felony DWI charges should strongly consider speaking with an experienced attorney.
What Happens to Someone’s License After a DWI Third Arrest?
When a person is arrested for a DWI, the officer has to read them the DIC 24, which is a statutory warning. This warning explains to the accused that they were arrested and that the officer will request a sample of their breath or blood. It also explains the consequences if the individual:
- Provides a sample that is over the legal limit
- Refuses to provide a sample
- Has a commercial truck driver’s license
- Is under 21 and has a detectable amount of alcohol in their system under 0.08
If the individual refuses to provide a breath or blood sample, the officer will confiscate their Texas driver’s license and issue a notice of suspension and temporary driver’s permit. That permit is good for 40 days. Starting ont he 41st day, the individual’s license will be automatically suspended. If the individual has had a prior Administrative License Revocation (ALR) within the last 10 years, then the suspension will be enhanced. For example, a regular 180-day suspension could be enhanced to two years.
If the individual provides a breath or blood sample and it is over the legal limit, they would get a 90 days suspension for a first offense. For a second or third offense with 10 years, the license suspension would last one year.
Additionally, an individual arrested for a DWI third will be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. This is ordered by the court and sent to the Department of Public Safety, which will note this on the person’s driving record. Even though they have a temporary permit, and even if the blood sample has not yet been processed by the lab, DPS will issue a cancellation. They will cancel the person’s driver’s license and issue them an interlock restricted license once the individual provides proof that the interlock was installed.
Requesting a Hearing
Importantly, individuals who receive an automatic license suspension have the right to challenge it at a hearing. While the temporary permit is good for 40 days, the individual only has 15 days from the date of arrest to request a hearing.
At these hearings the Department of Public Safety most be able to prove three things:
- There was probable cause for the stop
- There was probable cause for the arrest
- The individual was properly warned of their rights
There are potentially several ways to challenge this last element. The statute requires officers to certify that they provided the defendant with the statutory warnings, both orally and in writing. The defendant is required to have a written copy to follow along with. If the officer does not provide this, an attorney may be able to raise a challenge.
Furthermore, it is important for the officer to provide the statutory warnings before collecting the blood sample. If someone refuses a blood test but the officer has not yet explained the consequences of refusal, it does not count under the implied consent law.
Restricted Driver’s Licenses and Reinstatement
There are two ways a person can get a restricted driver’s license in Amarillo for a felony third-offense DWI. First is an administrative procedure that allows an individual to receive an occupational driver’s license, also known as an essential needs license (ENL). Second, there is a mechanism in the statute that allows an individual to receive an ENL by pleading guilty to the DWI. There are some terms and requirements with this procedure, one of which is mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.
After a trial resulting in acquittal, the attorney sends a copy of the not-guilty verdict to the Department of Public Safety. DPS then removes the license suspension from their record. Regardless of whether the individual requested the administrative hearing or not, DPS must return the license after an acquittal. This is mandatory under the statute.
Let an Amarillo DWI Attorney Help Protect Your Driver’s License
If you were arrested for a third DWI in Amarillo, your driving privileges are on the line. You have the right to challenging your suspension at a hearing, but you must act quickly. Reach out to an attorney today to schedule a case consultation. A skilled legal professional could help you get back on the road.