We continue our series regarding the hidden costs of a DWI arrest in Plano and the Denton County area of Texas by shining the spotlight on paying for medical treatment and challenging the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Refer to the first blog in the series for the discussion about hiring an attorney and posting bail or bond.
Financial Consequence No. 3: Paying for Medical Treatment
Some people arrested for DWI are injured at the time of the arrest because they were also involved in an automobile accident. Injuries range from run of the mill cuts and bruises to broken bones and internal injuries. In the most serious of cases the suspected DWI driver is so injured he or she may need medical treatment prior to completing the arrest and booking process.
Medical costs include ambulance charges, emergency room treatment, regular or specialist doctor’s office visits, diagnostic testing like MRIs, CT Scans, and blood tests, and prescription medication. While your medical costs are covered in part by your own health and auto insurance plans, you are still responsible for co-payments and out of pocket expenses like transportation to and from the doctor’s office.
Financial Consequence No. 4: Challenging Your Driver’s License Suspension or Revocation
Expect your driving privileges to be suspended or revoked immediately following a DWI arrest. During the booking process, it is likely that you will be asked to surrender your driver’s license by the arresting officer. You only have fifteen (15) days to challenge your driver’s license suspension or revocation, before the suspension or revocation becomes permanent.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is responsible for conducting the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program. This program is a civil administrative process, unrelated to your criminal proceeding that hears challenges to driver’s license suspension or revocation determinations. Tasks like commuting to work, picking up your children from school, and running your errands are impossible with a suspended or revoked license. You will now have transportation costs, like bus or taxi fares, or need to rely on friends and families to get you where you need to go. In some instances where a suspension or revocation is warranted, exceptions permitting you to travel to and from work, school, or court are allowed. You are able to hire an attorney to represent you during the ALR hearing, adding additional legal costs to your DWI arrest.
A Note on Refusing the Breathalyzer Test
If you refuse to take the breathalyzer test at time of arrest, your driver’s license will be suspended for 180 days. Even if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over the legal limit, if you consent to the breathalyzer test at the time of your arrest, your license will only be suspended for 90 days. If you have more than two DWI arrests, count on a two year drivers’ license suspension. It is best to consent if restoring your driving privileges is important to you. The next blog in the series will dig into paying your car note and auto insurance premiums, defending against civil forfeiture proceedings, and paying court costs, fees, and fines.
Contact a DWI Defense Attorney Today
At the Law Office of Kimberly Griffin Tucker, P.C., we represent people in criminal DWI proceedings and at the civil administrative ALR hearings, primarily in the city of Plano and the surrounding counties in Texas. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DWI, contact us for a detailed case evaluation.