If either your blood alcohol content (BAC) level was at least .08 percent
or you refused to take a chemical test (e.g., breath or blood test) after
getting arrested for a
DWI in Texas, a police officer will confiscate your license and issue you
a permit that is valid for 40 days from the date of your arrest. Then,
you will be subject to an “administrative license revocation”
(ALR) from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
The following is a breakdown of the ALR suspension periods based on the
number of DWI offenses on a person’s criminal record:
First offense – 90-day suspension if they failed the test, or 180-day suspension
for test refusal.
Second offense – One-year suspension if they failed the test and had prior DWI conviction
within the last 10 years, or two-year suspension for test refusal and
had a prior DWI conviction within the last 10 years.
Losing your driving privileges for any amount of time can be detrimental
to your professional reputation and personal life. Without a consistent
means of transportation, you run the risk of constantly missing or being
late to work or school, which can have serious repercussions. Running
household errands and making important appointments can be difficult as well.
However, you may be eligible to obtain an “occupational license.”
Also known as an essential need license, this type of restricted license
allows you to drive a non-commercial motor vehicle for work-, school-,
or household-related activities.
You cannot obtain an occupational license if any of the following circumstances are true:
You obtained two occupational licenses within the past two years
You lost your driving privileges for failing to pay child support
You lost your driving privileges because of a medical condition
If you were issued an ALR suspension for a first DWI offense, you could
immediately be eligible for an occupational license. If you have had an
alcohol-related suspension within the past five years, you must wait 90
days from the date of your current suspension to obtain an occupational license.
If you have been convicted of DWI in Texas in the last five years, you
must wait 180 days from the date of your current suspension to receive
an occupational license. If you have been convicted of at least two DWI
offenses within a five-year period, you must wait one year from the date
of the current suspension to obtain an occupational license.
The following are the documents you need to apply for an occupational license:
A petition to Issue an Occupation License
An Order to Issue an Occupational License
A copy of your driving record
Proof that you must drive for work-, school-, and/or essential household-related duties.
SR-22 (proof of insurance) from your auto insurance provider
Payment of occupational license fee and reinstatement fees
If the court grants you an occupational license, you will be given a signed
court order, which you must submit to DPS and other required documentation
to obtain an occupational license. Once you are issued the license, you
are only allowed to drive within the terms of the court order.