Does Texas Offer Conditional Licenses to Those Convicted of DUI?

drinking and driving

If convicted of a DWI in Texas, the ramifications can be severe. In all cases of a DWI conviction, your license will be suspended for a predetermined period of time, based on whether it is your first, second, or third offense. This suspension can cause significant disruption to your life, leaving you unable to attend work or school. However, Texas offers conditional licenses, which provide restricted use of motor vehicles. If you’re facing charges, retaining the counsel of Houston DWI defense attorneys can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

How Do Conditional Licenses Work?

Conditional licenses are great options for those facing DWIs who still have responsibilities to handle. While your regular license is suspended, a conditional or occupational one can help you fulfill your duties.

In order to qualify for an ODL, you will need to provide the court with all the necessary paperwork to show you need your car to travel to work, school, or to perform household duties like grocery shop or going to doctor appointments.

Then, you will complete an extensive packet detailing where you need to go, what times you drive, and the routes you travel to get to the location. Driving outside these hours and on different routes than the ones approved is a misdemeanor and can leave you facing more penalties.

Are There Waiting Periods?

Depending on your offense, you may face a waiting period before you can apply for an ODL.  If it’s your first offense, and your license is suspended due to an alcohol or drug charge, you will face a waiting period of 90 days. If your license was suspended due to an intoxication conviction, the waiting period is doubled to 180 days. If you have two revocations on your record, you must wait one year before applying for an ODL.

It is also important to note that your ODL cannot be used for commercial use. If you are a commercial truck driver, your occupational license will not replace your CLD.

What Do I Do Once I Have an ODL?

Once you have obtained an occupational driver’s license, you need to follow the rules and restrictions listed on your copy. This includes only driving during the approved hours and traveling the approved routes.

If you are found in violation of your occupational driver’s license restrictions, you face a class B misdemeanor and revocation of the ODL.

In order to fully comply with the rules of operating a vehicle with an ODL, you’ll also need to ensure you have a copy of the license and the court order issuing the license with you at all times. You also need to keep a copy of the SR-22, which states that you have the minim vehicle insurance required by state law.

When facing a suspended license, you’ll want to ensure you have an experienced attorney. The Gonzalez law group will work to review your case thoroughly to provide the best possible outcome for your circumstances.