The Post-DWI Texas Temporary Driving Permit

The Post-DWI Texas Temporary Driving Permit

Hi, I'm Charlie Roadman, Austin criminal defense attorney. And today I want to talk with you about the temporary driving permit, which is something that people get after a DWI arrest. The officers typically take the physical driver's license, Texas driver's license, and they give this sheet of paper. And you can see here, it's called a temporary driving permit. Now your copy is probably yellow and it's kind of stuck with all the documents that you get when you leave the jail. It's kind of hard to find. Often my clients say they never got it and then they look more carefully and they find it. Now it is something that you're supposed to carry with you while you drive. So if theoretically, you got pulled over for a speeding ticket or something related, this is what you would show the police officer. Now, a quick note, you should try to get a replacement license for the physical one that they took.

It's not illegal to do that. You should go online and see if you can get a new replacement license. They never give you back the one they took. So just get a replacement one as soon as possible. What I wanted to do is show you the basic key elements of this document. So starting off with here, which is what the police officers are telling DPS about the reason that they should suspend it. And it's either that you blew 0.08 or above on the breathalyzer at the station, or you refused to blow or refuse to give blood. In this particular case, the person refused. So if you blow 0.08 or above, the license suspension is going to be three months. If you refused, the license, suspension is going to be six months. And this is for a first DWI. The next section that's really important is that this driving permit is valid for 40 days from the date of service, meaning the date of the arrest. And you can see right here is that they write down the data service. In this case, May 21st.

So 40 days after May 21st, this person's driving privileges will be suspended. Okay. So the next sentence says, "If you request a hearing, this permit will remain in effect until the administrative law judge makes a final decision in your case." So if you make a hearing, the 40 day period doesn't count or it stops. And then once the hearing happens is when the license would be suspended if we lose. Now, the hearing for DPS could be three months out, it could be four, or five, six, seven months out. We never know exactly how long it'll take. But this permit will be good until that hearing happens.

And that means you can drive like normal with this permit until the hearing happens assuming you have no other problems with your license that I don't know about, or bond conditions that the judge said you can't drive or something like that. But in just a normal, typical case, if you request a hearing, or your attorney requests a hearing, then you can drive until the hearing happens.

And in fact, you get a day or two after the hearing, because the judge has to make a decision and then the DPS has to process it. So, 2, 3, 4 days after the hearing date is typically when the licensed suspension will kick in assuming we lost the hearing, which is common. So I do want to point out that even though your license gets suspended, in almost every case you'll be eligible to get an occupational license.

And that's a whole other process. And I have another video about that. But an attorney can get you an occupational license to drive, not just for work, but also for household duties, which includes groceries, or gym and legal things and medical things. So occupational license is very effective at allowing you to drive almost close to normal. There are a couple things you have to get, you should watch the other video about that. Now the next section, and this is important, talks about how to request an ALR hearing. Now, if you've hired an attorney, they'll do it for you, assuming you're within the 15 day period, because this says you have 15 days to request a hearing from the date of arrest. But you can also request it by yourself. My advice is to have an attorney do it because we do it all the time and we make sure we do it exactly right.

But this paragraph tells you how to request your own hearing. The hearing is called an administrative license revocation hearing. Key to know if you request your own hearing that the officers won't show up unless you subpoena them, which is a whole other process. Another reason why an attorney should probably handle this for you. But this paragraph does explain how to do it. And then finally, they talk about paying your $125 reinstatement fee. I would wait until your license is actually suspended to pay that fee because there's a flaw on DPS's system and they'll take your money and then pretend like they didn't get it if you pay them too soon. But again, ask your attorney when you should pay that. They'll have some advice. And finally, this is really stressful for people because obviously people don't want to get in trouble again.

So they're nervous even after watching this video or an attorney says you can drive. I mean, the problem is the police just took your driver's license. So it just feels weird that one law enforcement agency can take it and another one says, "Oh, you can still drive." So this is what you can do is you can check on the DPS website to see whether you're eligible to drive or not eligible.

And that website will tell you whether you can drive today or not. And again, that's assuming you don't have some other problem that I don't know about. For example, if a judge told you can't drive specifically because of some reason, or there's some bond condition that you need, this or that. Anyway, that's kind of rare but I just want to point out that I, of course, don't know anything about your case. But in a typical situation, when you look online, it'll stay eligible or not eligible. All right. I hope this helps. If you have any questions, just give me a call.