Occupational License

Have you lost your driver’s license because you were convicted of DWI /DUI anywhere in Texas? Is your license suspended because of a breath test failure or refusal? All hope is not lost. Contact Chernoff Law to learn how we may be able to help you get a work license also known as an occupational license allowing you to commute to your job. Through the years, the Texas legislature and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) have made obtaining and retaining an occupational license complicated and expensive.

An occupational license is often referred to as an essential needs license by DPS and the courts. The license is issued by a county or district court judge who orders the Department of Public Safety to allow you to drive at certain times of the day despite your DWI-related driver’s license suspension. A Houston criminal attorney may be able to help you keep your driving privileges with a request for an occupational or gap license which will stay in effect throughout your suspension.

Limiting Vehicle Operation Hours

The request for an occupational license must state what essential needs you have for operating a motor vehicle. The judge, however, may have a different view of what is essential than you do. Currently, the law allows an issuing judge to permit you to drive for no more than 12 hours in a 24 hour period. However, the judge may limit the operation of your vehicle just to certain hours or may require you to keep a driving log. What your judge allows may depend on the persuasiveness of your arguments.

Liability Insurance Requirement

In order to receive a gap occupational license, you must meet the occupational license requirements of the Texas Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act. First, you must have valid liability insurance. Further, you must file an SR-22 (obtained from your insurance agent) with the Department verifying you have met these minimum requirements. When our clients prefer not to notify their insurance agents of their recent DWI arrest, we can refer them to a service which will provide an SR-22 and also obtain a hard copy occupational license from DPS in the shortest possible time.

On Condition of Alcohol Counseling

An issuing judge may require you to attend alcohol counseling as a condition of your occupational license but, unfortunately, it cannot be the same counseling ordered by the judge in your DWI case. Our experience has been that issuing judges who require this condition are mandating a certain number of hours attendance with Alcoholics Anonymous. Maintaining an occupational license may mean that you will have to equip your car with an ignition interlock device to prevent violation of your limitations. Call us to learn more about obtaining a provisional license.