Texas takes impaired driving seriously. People who drive while intoxicated are at a serious risk of injuring themselves or others when they get behind the wheel. That’s true whether they’re driving a car or piloting a boat. When people refuse field sobriety tests in Texas, their licenses are automatically suspended. However, there’s a provision where drivers can ask for a hearing to contest this suspension. It’s important for anyone with a license to understand how this process works.
Getting a hearing
When someone refuses a field sobriety test in Texas, the assumption is that they’re guilty of DWI-DUI. However, there are reasons that drivers may be wary of certain sobriety tests. It’s well established that Breathalyzer tests can be problematic. Some of the machines used are defective, especially if they’re not maintained properly. There are also medical reasons that someone might have difficulty with some tests, even if they’re not impaired.
In Texas, people have just 15 days to contest a notice that their license is suspended. If they don’t make the petition within this timeframe, their suspension will go into effect 40 days after the notice is served. Typically, this is 40 days after they were stopped and arrested.
For people who submit to a blood test in Texas, things are a little bit different. The BAC or drug test results have to be complete before anything concrete is known. When the driver receives a suspension notice after a blood test, they have 20 days to contest it.
If you’ve received a suspended license notice in Texas, it’s important to contact an attorney. A lawyer’s job is to advocate for their client. Your lawyer may be able to help you keep your license. DWI-DUI is a criminal offense, so presenting a zealous defense is important in these cases.