An arrest and conviction for DWI in Texas is no laughing matter. Jail time may be involved. Fines and the additional costs of a DWI conviction can put a serious dent in a person’s finances. However, for many, the most difficult part of a Texas DWI is the driver’s license suspension.
For Texans, driving is more than a simple convenience. Many people rely on their vehicles to get to and from work. Others use their vehicles as a part of their jobs. Still others depend on the vehicles to get to school, get their children to school, or to perform other critical household tasks. In all these cases, the loss of driving privileges can have a serious effect on an individual’s personal and professional life.
A driver who is arrested for DWI in Texas will be asked to take a breath or blood test to measure their blood alcohol concentration level. If they refuse to take the test, or if they fail the test by having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, they will be subject to an administrative license suspension from the Texas Department of Public Safety. In such a case, the arresting officer will confiscate their driver’s license and issue a temporary driving permit.
This temporary permit is good for 40 days from the date of the arrest. On the 41st day following the arrest, their driving privileges become suspended for:
During this suspension period, all driving, for any reason whatsoever, is prohibited unless the person affected applies for and receives an occupational license.
An occupational license is a restricted license that is issued to a person who has had their driver’s license suspended, revoked, or denied. The occupational license allows that person to drive:
An occupational license will not be issued to operate a commercial vehicle. Furthermore, you cannot get an occupational license if you have previously:
Under Texas law, if your license has been suspended, you may have to wait a specific amount of time before you can apply for an occupational license. Depending on your circumstances, the following time periods could apply:
Once the applicable waiting period, if any, has elapsed, you can apply for an occupational license by doing the following:
Once you file the petition, a judge will consider your Petition. If the judge grants the Petition, he will sign the Order and mark any restrictions which can include:
Once the judge signs the order granting your Petition, you must submit the following to the Department of Public Safety in order to get your occupational license:
The Department of Public Safety will then issue you an occupational license.
The State of Texas takes driving while intoxicated seriously. This means that you need to take any DWI charges pending against you seriously as well. If you need to drive while your license is suspended, you need to make sure that the process required to obtain an occupational license is done correctly. R.J. Harber is an expert in Texas DWI laws, and his practice focuses on DWI and DUI cases. Contact him for a free, confidential consultation at 214-389-1189, or through his online contact page.