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Grant M. Scheiner - Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer

How to Get a Provisional License after a DWI Conviction

Receiving a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) conviction can make your life very difficult for a variety of reasons. Beyond the potential fines and possible jail time depending on your case, the loss of your license can also severely impact you daily life, especially if you rely upon your car to get to work. Fortunately you may not be at a total loss if you act quickly and wisely. In this article we’ll explain how to get a provisional license, also known as an occupational license, after a DWI conviction.

According to the Texas Transportation Code your license will be suspended if you refuse to take a blood-alcohol test, fail one, or get convicted of a DWI. If you are convicted of a DWI your license will be automatically suspended from 90 days to one year for a first offense, and for six months to two years for subsequent offenses.

You have the right to file for a provisional/occupational license if you have not already received one in the past 10 years. This temporary restricted license will enable you to travel back and forth to work, school or to carry out critical household tasks.

To get a provisional license, you must explain your essential need in a detailed petition and file it with the court clerk. The judge will then hold a special hearing to determine whether to issue an order granting you the restricted license. The judge will take your driving history in to account, and determine the exact parameters of when and under what circumstances you can drive. You will also be required to show proof of insurance during the process.

Getting Approval for a Provisional License

The judge’s order granting you a restricted license must specify certain information, including:

  • Hours and days of the week when you can drive.
  • Permitted purposes for which you can drive.
  • Areas or routes that you are permitted to drive.

Typically you won’t be able to drive more than four hours of the day unless the judge specifies otherwise. The provisional license will take effect immediately, unless you have a previous DWI offense within the last five-years, in which case you may have to wait 6 months to a year.

Requirements of the Provisional License

The judge will impose certain restrictions and requirements upon you when granting an order for a provisional license, including:

  • Carrying a certified copy of the order whenever you are driving.
  • Get alcohol dependence counseling from a state-approved facility. This counseling is considered separate from any mandatory DWI program you may be required to take for your probation.
  • Using an ignition interlock device to keep your vehicle from starting if you have been drinking. The judge has the option to make this a condition for your first offense, but it is required for a second and subsequent offenses.

Failing to adhere to any of these requirements is considered a Class B misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, and will likely result in the suspension of the provisional license.

To learn more about a provisional license or to find the answers to any other questions regarding a DWI or other legal matter, contact us today.