Many people convicted of DWI offenses in Texas face an immediate driver’s license suspension at time of sentencing. A conviction can be a plea – where the criminal defendant waives a public trial, admits culpability, and moves to the sentencing phase of the criminal action, or a finding guilt following a DWI trial. Under both scenarios a common punishment is the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license.
DWI Convictions for Adults
An adult is anyone in Texas 21 years of age or older. When an adult is convicted of DWI in Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS)[EH1] requires the driver to complete the following conditions before restoring his or her driving privileges. The conditions may include:
- Requiring attendance in Alcohol Education Program;
- For first time offenders, have their driving privileges suspended for up to 24 months;
- For offenders on probation, completion of a 12-hour course at an authorized Alcohol Education Program unless the requirement is waived by the criminal judge assigned to the offender’s case. Evidence that the 12-hour course has been completed must be submitted to TxDPS within 180 days from the date of conviction or the offender’s driver’s license will be revoked. If the offender’s driver’s license is revoked, to reinstate his or her driving privileges, the offender will need to pay a reinstatement fee.
DWI Convictions for Minors
A minor in Texas is anyone under the age of 21. When a minor is convicted of a DWI offense, the TxDPS imposes conditions or additional requirements in order to restore driving privileges to the minor following a conviction for a DWI offense. These requirements are as follows:
- 12-month driver’s license suspension AND
- 12-hour Alcohol Education Program.
If the minor does not complete the Alcohol Education Program, his or her driving privileges will be suspended for an additional 180 days.
How is the Driver’s License Reinstated?
After an individual completes the requirements of his or her sentence and any additional requirements imposed by the TxDPS, the individual is ready to formally request his or her driving privileges be reinstated. To Reinstate Driving License, the driver must:
- Pay a reinstatement fee;
- Complete a financial responsibility insurance certificate; and
- Provide proof of completion to any programs order by TxDPS or the Court.
A Note to DWI Offenders Ordered to Install an Ignition Interlock Device
Certain DWI offenders, whether adult or minor, are ordered to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. The TxDPS issues these DWI offenders a special driver’s license. Check the TxDPS website for additional requirements on how to obtain this special driver’s license.
Contact a Plano, Texas DWI Lawyer
Individuals with license suspensions due to DWI convictions may be eligible for an occupational license. An occupational license permits an individual to drive to and from work and handle some daily living activities. Consult the law offices of Kimberly Griffin Tucker to review your case circumstances to determine if you would qualify for an occupational license while you wait for your driving privileges to be reinstated.