You likely lost your driving privileges if you were arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Without a driver’s license, you will need to consider other transportation options, which can sometimes lead to a very inconvenient commute. In this situation, it’s common to wonder when you will be able to drive again.
License suspension process
A DWI arrest does not mean you will immediately have your license suspended. After being pulled over, a police officer may take your driver’s license and hand you a pink Notice of Suspension. The State of Texas allows you to continue driving with this notice for up to 40 days.
If you refused or failed a breathalyzer or blood test when you were arrested, you will have 15 days to request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing. Failing to apply for a hearing automatically suspends your license after 40 days.
When can you drive?
Your Notice of Suspension will allow you to drive for 40 days after your arrest. If you requested an ALR hearing on time and the hearing date exceeds 40 days, you can keep driving until the court makes a ruling.
If you lose the hearing, your license may be suspended for 60 days or up to two years, depending on your criminal history and the details of your arrest. Certain conditions, such as injuring someone or having a child under the age of 14 in the car, may extend the duration of your suspension.
Using public transportation to get to work, pick up your kids, or go to the hospital is not always an option. Fortunately, if you can show that you have essential requirements, you can petition the court for an occupational license. If granted, you will be able to drive until your suspension is over.
Requirements for reinstating driver’s license
After the suspension, you will need to reinstate your license before you can drive again. To do so, you will need to satisfy some conditions set by the state and the court, including:
- Paying DWI penalties and court fees
- Completing a court-ordered alcohol educational program, and
- Obtaining SR-22 coverage from an authorized insurance company
The road to driving again after a license suspension can be long and full of obstacles. Too many factors can complicate your DWI case, but a drunk driving attorney may be able to guide you through the process, renegotiate your penalties, and potentially minimize your criminal charges.