Being arrested for a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) in Denton County can cause a wide variety of problems in your life. In addition to possible fines and time in jail depending on your charge, the potential loss of your driver’s license can have a big impact on your day to day life, especially when you require your car to get to work or your career requires you to drive on the job. Luckily, it may not be a total loss and often times the damage can be mitigated if you act fast and reach out to a qualified DWI criminal defense attorney. In this post, we will explain how to acquire an occupational also known as a provisional driver’s license after an arrest for DWI.

In the State of Texas, the Texas Transportation Code requires your license to be suspended in the event that you refuse to the sobriety test, fail the test, or if you are convicted of a DWI Charge. If convicted, your driver’s license will be suspended automatically for 90 days to one year for a first offense, and for subsequent offenses it can be suspended for two years for additional offenses

If you have not received a provisional/occupational driver’s license in the past 10 years, you have the right to file a request. This temporary license comes with restrictions that allow you to travel to work, school, or to other critical locations that are deemed necessary.

Act Fast! If you have recently been charged with a DWI in Denton County, you only have 15 days to request the hearing to protect your driver’s license. Contact our office to find out more details and to schedule this hearing known as an ALR hearing.

In order to receive your provisional/occupational driver’s license, you must be able to explain that your travel needs are essential in a petition that is detailed and file it with the court clerk. The ALR judge will then schedule a special hearing to decide if it is necessary to issue you an order granting the provisional/occupational driver’s license. Your driving history will be taken into account to decide on the exact parameters under what criteria and when you will be allowed to operate a motor vehicle. Proof of insurance will also be required during this process and you may be required to carry additional insurance.

Provisional/Occupational Driver’ – Getting Approved

When the judge grant’s a restricted driver’s license, it must specify the following information:

  • The specific days and times that you are allowed to drive.
  • The specific purpose and reason for your operating a motor vehicle.
  • The areas or specific routes that you should be operating your vehicle in.

In most cases, you will not be able to operate your motor vehicle for more than 4 hours  of the day (except if the judge indicates otherwise). The occupational/provisional driver’s license will take immediate effect. (Unless you have a DWI conviction on your record from a previous arrest, in which case you may be required to wait 6 months and up to a year.

Provisional Driver’s License Requirements

Certain restrictions and requirements can be placed on your provisional/occupational driver’s license, including the following:

  • You must carry a certified copy of the occupational (ODL) / provisional driver’s license.
  • 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.
  • You must sign up for alcohol dependence counseling (which must be from a state approved facility). This is counseling that is considered separate from any additional mandatory DWI programs that you may or may not be required to attend to satisfy your probation.
  • Ignition Interlock – The judge will have the option to make this a requirement for your first offense but it is mandatory for an additional offenses.

If you fail to comply with any of these requirements, it will be considered a Class B Misdemeanor which can have a punishment of up to 60 days in jail, and additionally it may result in the complete suspension of your occupational or provisional driver’s license.

If you have questions about obtaining a provisional/occupational driver’s license in Denton county, please contact the law office of Daniel K. Peugh for a free consultation.