A DWI is a serious offense in Texas, one that could have serious consequences such as the loss of your driving privileges. DWI lawyers understand that the loss of your license could adversely impact your life and your ability to earn a living. If you are a first-time offender, DWI defense attorneys may be able to help. Under certain circumstances, you can keep your license by obtaining an occupational driver’s license so you can still drive to work.
Will You Lose Your License with A DWI?
As all Texas DWI attorneys know, if you are convicted of driving under the influence, one penalty that could apply is a license suspension. Although first-time offenders receive a shorter suspension than with subsequent offenses, DWI defense lawyers know that any suspension can dramatically affect a person's life.
If you were previously convicted of DWI, you would receive a suspension that prohibits you from operating a vehicle for any reason during the suspension period. Unfortunately, this suspension does not prevent many people from driving and may result in additional drunk driving accidents. Since the law changed in 2015 in favor of first-time offenders who rely on their ability to drive, you may be able to obtain an occupational driver’s license to drive during the suspension period.
What Is A Texas Occupational Driver’s License?
An occupational driver’s license is a temporary license provided by the state of Texas to first-time DWI offenders so you may retain your driving privileges during a license suspension period. The purpose of this license is to allow you to drive to work; it does prohibit you from any other type of driving.
To obtain this license, you need to install an ignition interlock device on your car. Once the device is installed, you or your DWI lawyers may file a petition to obtain the license so you can continue to drive for work reasons and normal errands.
What Is An Ignition Interlock Device?
Ignition interlock devices are electronic breathalyzer devices that are wired into the ignition of your car. Their purpose is to prevent operation if you have been drinking. To start your car, you must breathe into the tube attached to the device that will determine your blood alcohol level. Only if you pass this test will the device allow you to start your car.
DWI defense attorneys find that the new ruling which gives every first-time offender the ability to install this device to continue driving is a win-win situation. It allows you to retain your independence and job, while preventing additional accidents. These devices also teach better habits and possibly reduce the chance of a first-time offender becoming a second-time offender.
If you have been charged with DWI, it is important to work with experienced DWI attorneys to avoid conviction and a license suspension. If you are convicted and it is a first-time offense, the good news is that you can still drive in Texas. Your DWI defense lawyers will help arrange to have an ignition interlock device installed so you can file for a temporary occupational driver’s license.
Garza & Elizondo, LLP
680 East St. Charles St, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520
1393 East Alton Floor Blvd, Suite 12
Brownsville TX 78526