Many people are aware that the consequences of driving while intoxicated usually involve a combination of jail time and fines. However, many people overlook the penalty that could have the biggest short-term consequences: the ability to drive legally in Texas.

When an individual is arrested for refusing to submit to or failing a DWI breath or blood test, he or she can lose his or her driving privileges for a lengthy amount of time. Fortunately, when a license suspension is handed down to an individual, he or she has the right to an administrative hearing, which could potentially reverse the suspension. 

In the unfortunate event that your driver’s license has been suspended due to a DWI/DUI or as a consequence of refusing to take a breath test, you can apply for an Occupational Driver’s License (ODL). You must show good cause for why an Occupational Driver’s License is needed, but that cause can be quite broad and can include homemakers who need a car to buy groceries or to perform domestic duties, unemployed persons who need a car to get to medical appointments, persons who need to drive to their place of worship or students who drive to school.

The granting of an Occupational Drivers License requires the filing of a Petition and getting an Order signed by a judge granting you the right to drive. This includes a filing fee and various other expenses that the Texas Department of Public Safety requires, including but not limited to SR-22 insurance, along with reinstatement and issuance fees.

Under Texas law, an Occupational Drivers License will only be issued for a four (4) hour period, and may have other restrictions attached to it depending upon your nature of the offense. To drive more than this period, an attorney must show the court good cause as to why the ODL should allow you to drive up to 12-hours each day, with a limit of 60 hours of driving per week, the maximum allowed by law. Furthermore, your attorney must show the court good cause why you should be allowed to drive in certain counties.

Examples of Restrictions for ODL’s and Persons charged with DWI:   

 Drivers charged with a 1st DWI must wait 30 days after receiving notice of suspension before petitioning the court for a ODL.

Drivers charged with a 2nd DWI must wait 90 days after receiving notice of suspension before petitioning the court for a ODL.     

Drivers charged with two (2) subsequent DWI cases within a five (5) year calendar period must wait a period of one calendar year before be petitioning the court for an ODL.     

Drivers charged with a 3rd DWI may be subject to a five year suspension without opportunity to petition the court.     

Drivers who provided a breath sample of .15 or higher must place an interlock device on their car as a condition to receiving an ODL. An interlock device is a breath alcohol analyzer connected to the ignition of a motor vehicle. In order to start the vehicle, the driver must blow into the breath alcohol analyzer. If the analyzer detects alcohol exceeding a certain limit, the engine will not start and the device may record the failure.     

Drivers charged with Intoxicated Manslaughter, Intoxicated Assault, or DWI with a Minor Passenger are eligible for an ODL in most counties by the permission of the presiding District Court Judge.    

An Occupational Drivers License is not available for drivers with commercial drivers licenses.

 Call Brent Hardy today at (210) 415-6662 to schedule a consultation about the details surrounding your Drivers License Suspension. Your first consultation is free.