License Suspension in Texas
In an effort to keep Texas roads as safe as possible, the law is structured in a way to remove unfit drivers before they can hurt anyone with irresponsible behavior. A driver can be considered unfit for many different reasons. Sometimes a person’s mental or physical health can deteriorate to the point where they are no longer safely capable of operating their vehicle. More often, a person displays dangerous and illegal actions behind the wheel, and the courts make a decision about whether their license should be suspended or revoked, and for how long.
How Do I Get a Suspended License in Texas?
License suspensions will be triggered automatically based on the number of moving violations. Any driver who commits four moving violations in a 12-month period, or seven moving violations in a 24-month period will have their license suspended immediately. However, Texas drivers can contest a suspension within 20 days—they will be appointed a court date to do so. Even if the courts still decide in favor of a suspension, you will be able to appeal it at a later date and try once more to keep your driving privileges intact.
You can also have your license suspended for very serious violations, such as DUI or getting in an accident while being uninsured and causing injury or death.
How Long Will a License in Texas Be Suspended?
The length of your suspension will be determined by a hearing officer in court, and can depend on your age and a few other factors. Suspensions for moving violations are usually 30, 60, or 90 days in length. Drivers over 21 convicted of DUI will have their licenses suspended for two years, while drivers under 21 are granted a little more leniency and are only subject to suspension for one year (though, this can be extended by 180 days and/or 90 days if the young driver does not complete an Alcohol Education Program or has to install an ignition interlock device, respectively).
For more information on Texas license suspensions, visit the DPS website.
How Do I Get My Suspended License Reinstated?
If your license has been suspended, you must wait out the suspension period and pay the assigned reinstatement fee. You can also choose to contest the suspension, but that must be done at the very beginning of the process, and you must present a solid case for why your license should not be suspended.
Non-Driving Related Reasons for a License Suspension
In addition to all the above cases of license suspension, there are a few behaviors you can participate in that have nothing to do with driving that will result in a 30-, 60-, or 90-day suspension. People under 21 years old can receive a license suspension for buying, attempting to buy, possession of, consuming, or being intoxicated by alcohol. Being convicted of a drug or substance offense carries a suspension of 180 days.
With all of these potential ways to have your license suspended, your best bet is to obey the law and drive safely!