By Dallas and Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
Yes. If you have just been arrested and released for a DWI in Texas, then your Texas driver’s license will not be suspended for 40 days from the date of your arrest.
You should be given several documents during a driving while intoxicated arrest — usually two yellow carbon copies. One is your statutory warning about the consequences of refusing or taking a breath or blood test (DIC-24) and the other is your temporary driving permit (DIC-25).
The DIC-25 states in the fine print, “This permit is valid for 40 days from the date of service shown below. If you request a hearing, this permit will remain in effect until the administrative law judge makes a final decision in your case.”
English translation — you still have a drivers license. If you appeal the suspension (you have 15 days to do this), then the DIC-25 is your driving permit until your appeal is ruled on by an administrative law judge. If you do nothing, the yellow sheet is your driving permit for 40 days. Either way, you are perfectly okay to drive if you have a Texas license. At least for now.
Normally if you take the breath test and fail or if you refuse the breath test, the arresting officer confiscates your license on the spot. Again, this doesn’t mean you can’t drive. You do, however, have to pay attention to the fine print.
If you take a blood test, then normally they don’t take your drivers license because they don’t know if you passed or failed the test. In those instances, you have to check the mail for a letter from DPS indicating whether your blood result has triggered a possible suspension. If it has, then you still have time to file your appeal.
If you’re in the situation where you were just arrested for driving under the influence within the past few days, then you’re still in a position to maximize your full options with regards to your driver’s license. You can appeal the officer’s decision to ask you to take the breath test and you can get an occupational driver’s license in the event your license is ultimately suspended.
Unlike a fine wine, your options don’t get better with age. So now is the time to get into decision mode.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article should be considered legal advice. For legal advice about any issue, you should consult an attorney directly. Communicating to the attorney through this blog does not constitute an attorney client communication and nothing communicated herein is considered privileged.