Skilled DWI Defense Attorneys

Occupational Driver's License (ODL)

If your license has been suspended, revoked, or denied, you may qualify for an Occupational Driver's license (ODL). An occupational driver's license, also called an essential need license, is a special type of restricted license that authorizes an individual to operate a non-commercial vehicle in connection with the person's job, education needs, or household duties. Texas Transportation Code §521.242, 37 discusses the conditions surrounding an occupational driver's license (ODL).

The number of states in the United States that issue hardship licenses has increased in the last 40 years from 18 in 1966 to 40+ today. This has been a reaction to increasingly severe DUI laws. The average number of occupational driver's licenses issued per state per year is 8,600. While most occupational driver's licenses can be issued for drunk driving, less are given if an individual refused a chemical test.

Requirements for an Occupational Driver's License

Requirements before receiving an occupational driver's license include:

  • Obtaining a copy of the petition and court order
  • Obtaining a SR-22 certificate of insurance
  • Paying an occupational license fee
  • Visiting your local Texas DPS to submit your paperwork

In some cases, it may also include paying a reinstatement fee for the following:

  • Safety Responsibility Suspension
  • Driver Improvement Suspension
  • Administrative License Revocation

Obtaining an occupational driver's license depends on your criminal record and driving record. If you have a prior DWI on your record or if your DWI included aggravating factors (bodily injury or death), you may have to install an ignition interlock device system on your vehicle. An occupational driver's license is granted for a minimum of four hours a day and a maximum of 12 hours a day.

While you can receive an ODL that allows you to drive up to 12 hours each day, an attorney will have to show the court why it should allow you to drive for that maximum period each day. The limit you are allowed is 60 hours of driving time per week, if the court grants you this amount. Only two occupational driver's licenses can be issued to one person within a span of 10 years.

How Can You Prove That You Need an Occupational Driver's License?

If you have been charged with your first DWI, you will have to wait 30 days after receiving your notice of suspension before you can petition the court for an ODL. Keep in mind that counseling is often required beforehand for all individuals seeking to obtain an occupational license.

You can prove that you need a driver's license by showing any number of things. For instance, you could show a necessity to travel based on the following:

  • You are a parent who needs to run errands
  • You have a health condition and will need to get to the doctor's office
  • You are a student who needs to drive to school
  • You attend a religious service weekly and will need transportation
  • Your job is across town and you will need a car to get there

Different conditions can apply if you have multiple DWIs on your record or if you are a minor. If you were recently charged with DWI, and as a result, your license has been suspended, an ODL may allow you to travel to work, attend school, or to run errands. The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC can help! Because your education, job and quality of life are on the line, it is important that you secure a DUI defense attorney who you can trust immediately.

When you need aggressive representation, you can feel confident when choosing The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC! Give us a call today. We are here to assist you in whatever way we can.

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