I am asked quite regularly about driver’s license suspensions when it relates to DWI’s.  The following is a brief outline of what Texas law states about driver’s license suspensions.  When it comes  to a DWI or DUI arrest in Texas, a person’s  license may actually be suspended twice! The first  suspension will be what we call an “ALR suspension”.  This suspension is a result of being arrested for DWI and  refusing or failing (.08 and above) a DWI breath test or DWI blood test.   Your license will be suspended for a certain period of time depending on whether you refused the test or failed the test.  It also depends on whether or not you are charged with a DWI 1st, 2nd or higher. 

The second suspension may come as a consequence of being convicted for DWI or DUI either at trial or by pleading guilty to DWI and electing for jail time rather than probation.

OFFENSE Refusal / Failure of Test Suspension
First DWI “Failure” case (Blood alcohol of .08 or more)           Transp. Code 524.012(b)(1) 90 Days
  “Refusal” case (refusing to take breath test or blood test) Transp. Code 724.035(a) 180 days
2nd + DWI failed breath test or blood test 1 year
  refused breath test or blood test 2 years


DWI Conviction Suspension
1st DWI conviction (or guilty plea) 90 days to 1 year *
2nd DWI conviction (or guilty plea) 180 days to 2 years
2nd DWI within 5 years of 1st DWI 1 year to 2 years


The license suspension period varies by court order.  On First offense DWIs, there is no driver’s license suspension if the judge approves a  plea deal for DWI probation involving either: (1) the taking (and successful completion) of an alcohol education program, or (2) equipping your vehicle with a deep lung device.  These exceptions to automatic DWI license suspensions exist only if this is your first DWI.  You could also avoid a driver’s license suspension for DWI( in Texas) if you are convicted of DWI by a jury if the jury recommends that your license not be suspended.  A DUI (“Driving under the influence of alcohol”, which is a different standard than DWI and applies only to minors) conviction for someone under the age of 21 will result in an automatic suspension for one year. Texas Transportation Code 521.344.

NOTE: It is possible to receive a suspension for a DWI conviction AND a suspension for a blood/breath test refusal/failure arising from the same arrest.

      Texas Drivers License Reinstatement Requirements * A reinstatement fee will be required prior to the renewal/issuance of a driver license. * Obtain proof of insurance (form SR-22) from your insurance company and submit to the Texas Dept. of Public Safety (DPS). The SR-22 is required for two years from date of conviction. If a Repeat Offender’s DWI education program has been required by the convicting court, certificate of completion must be forwarded to DPS prior to the expiration of the suspension to prevent an additional revocation period.

 If the driver holds a Commercial Driver License, a breath test refusal or failure will result in an automatic one year disqualification. (Access the Administrative License Revocation) Texas Transportation Code Chapter 524, Texas Transportation Code Chapter 724, 37 Texas Administrative Code 17.7. Me preguntan con cierta frecuencia sobre la suspensión de la licencia de conductor cuando se trata de DWI. El siguiente es un breve resumen de qué ley de Texas dice sobre la suspensión de la licencia de conductor. Cuando se trata de un arresto en Texas DWI o DUI, licencia de una persona puede realmente suspenderse dos veces! La primera suspensión será lo que llamamos una “suspensión ALR”. Esta suspensión es consecuencia de ser detenido por DWI y negarse o en su defecto (.08 y superior) un análisis de sangre de DWI o una prueba de aliento de DWI. Su licencia será suspendida durante un determinado período de tiempo, dependiendo de si se negó a la prueba o no la prueba. También depende de si se encargan un DWI 1, 2 o superior.

La segunda suspensión puede venir como consecuencia de ser condenados por DWI o DUI en juicio o por culpable a DWI y elección de pena de cárcel en vez de libertad condicional.

Published by Hector Gonzalez on 03-01-14