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Driver's License Suspension in Texas

All states, including Texas consider driving a “privilege,” not a right. In order for someone to keep a valid driver’s license, they must do certain things, such as be good drivers and maintain the required auto insurance coverage.

Since we have to share the roads with everyone else, we must drive responsibly. This means we must refrain from drinking and driving, abide by the speed limits and traffic laws, and be courteous drivers. If we commit too many traffic offenses, our driver’s license will be automatically suspended. This is the state’s way of penalizing us for unsafe driving habits and practices.

Traffic Offenses & Driver’s License Suspension

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, a person’s driver’s license will be suspended automatically if they have:

  • Accumulated four (4) or more “moving violations” within 12 months, or
  • If they accumulate seven (7) or more moving traffic violations within 24 months.

Driving While License is Invalid (DWLI)

Often, a driver will accumulate too many moving traffic violations on their record and their license will be suspended, but they will drive anyways. Under Texas law, this offense is called driving while license is invalid (DWLI).

When someone drives while their license is suspended, revoked, or cancelled, they will be punished; their driver’s license will be suspended for the same amount of time as their original suspension. In other words, the suspension period will be doubled.

Criminal Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License

Driving while a license is invalid is criminalized under Sec. 521.457 of the Texas Transportation Code. Under this section, it’s unlawful to drive a vehicle while a driver’s license is suspended or revoked. A first offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a $500 fine.

A second offense under Sec. 521.457 is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail, or by a fine up to $2,000, or both.

If you need help with a license suspension or revocation issue, or a criminal matter involving DWLI, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC!