Being convicted of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) comes with severe penalties in Texas, including potential jail time and hefty fines. One of the penalties that is particularly odious, especially for those who are just trying to go about their day-to-day lives, is the automatic suspension of one’s driver’s license upon arrest. Fortunately, those who find themselves in this situation are not without legal options, especially if they act quickly, so if you were recently charged with a DWI and need your license to get to and from work, or to care for your child, please call an experienced Houston suspended license DWI lawyer who can help you apply for a provisional license.
License Suspension Upon DWI Conviction
Under Texas law, drivers can expect their licenses to be automatically suspended if they:
- Refuse to take a blood alcohol test;
- Fail a blood alcohol test; or
- Are convicted of DWI.
For first time offenders, the suspension period can last anywhere from 90 days to one year. Subsequent offenses, however, are punishable by a Texas Driver License suspension of between six months and two years.
Applying for a Provisional License
Those whose licenses are suspended because of a DWI charge have the right to request a provisional, or occupational license, but only if they have not done so in the previous ten years. If granted, this temporary restricted license allows drivers to travel back and forth to:
- School; or
- Carry out critical household tasks.
Requests for provisional licenses are only approved if a petitioner can prove to a judge at a special hearing that driving is an essential need. When making these decisions, judges look at a number of different factors, including the petitioner’s driving record, as well as the exact parameters of when and under what circumstances he or she needs to drive. This request will not be granted if a driver doesn’t have insurance.
Provisional License Details
If granted, a provisional license will come with strict orders regarding how it can be used. For instance, drivers with provisional licenses will only be able to drive during certain hours and days of the week, for a few specific purposes, and in certain areas or routes. In most cases, these licenses don’t allow for more than four hours of driving per day. Provisional licenses usually go into effect immediately, unless the petitioner has a previous DWI offense on his or her record, in which case, he or she may need to wait for up to a year before receiving approval. Provisional licenses also often come with additional requirements. Some drivers, for instance, are required to attend alcohol dependence counseling, or to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. Failing to comply with these orders is a Class B misdemeanor and so will not only result in the loss of the provisional license, but a potential jail sentence of 60 days.
Do You Qualify for a Provisional License?
To learn more about how to apply for a provisional license, or for help with any other DWI-related legal matters, please contact Houston DWI Lawyer Tad A. Nelson today. You can reach one of our dedicated suspended license lawyers at 713-489-7373 or via online message today.