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In Texas, driving under the influence (DUI) applies only to drivers under 21 found with small amounts of alcohol in their system while operating a vehicle. This differs from driving while intoxicated (DWI), which applies to any age and any amount of alcohol. If you’ve been charged with DUI, you should seek representation from an experienced lawyer. Through my work at Kevin L. Collins, P.C. I have more than 27 years of experience in handling these types of cases.
In Texas, several elements must be present for a minor (under 21) to be charged with DUI. He or she must have been operating a motor vehicle in a public place while having a detectable amount of alcohol in his or her system in a particular county. DUI convictions typically result in a year’s probation for a first offense. Conditions of DUI probation could include drug and alcohol evaluations, alcohol education courses or attendance at Mothers Against Drunk Drivers victim impact panels.
However, if the charges are for a DUI assault, manslaughter or homicide, the punishments are far more severe: prison sentences, major fines, permanent loss of vehicle or driver license and more.
A DUI arrest in Texas creates two cases ― the criminal charge and also a civil proceeding against the motorist’s driving privileges. This is called an administrative license revocation (ALR). An ALR proceeding is initiated against a driver arrested for DWI or DUI when he or she refuses to submit to blood or Breathalyzer testing, or fails a blood or Breathalyzer test.
These proceedings are automatic, and result in a license suspension on the 41st day after the arrest unless a hearing is requested within 15 days of the arrest. Failure to make a timely request results in a suspension of at least 90 days, and often longer, based on past alcohol and/or drug contacts against the accused driver, and whether the suspension is based on a refusal or a failure.
As your criminal defense lawyer, I request these hearings for my DWI and DUI clients and often can prevail and prevent license suspension. The ALR hearing is also an excellent way to obtain discovery, including police reports and cross-examination of the arresting officer. These evidentiary findings can later play a significant role in defending the criminal DUI case.
For more information about laws that impact DUI cases and any other questions that you have, please contact me at Kevin L. Collins, P.C. by calling 210-598-8629 or online. Trust in my skills and experience to aggressively fight your charges and secure a positive result for you.