What are the licensing consequences of a DWI in Texas?
Texas police officers are always on the lookout for signs of a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense. Drunk driving has a strong correlation with crashes that cause injury, property damage and death.
To deter people from getting behind the wheel after drinking, the state authorizes law enforcement agencies to arrest those caught driving after drinking.
The state also applies numerous significant penalties to those who plead guilty or get convicted of a DWI offense. Most people understand that a DWI charge in Texas will have certain licensing consequences. What impact does a DWI have on your licensing?
Your personal driver’s license
Depending on your driving record and the presence of aggravating factors, a license suspension for a Texas DWI offense could last for between 90 days and two years. A driver may also have to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle when they do get their license back.
Obviously, losing your license for several months or years could affect your attendance and punctuality at work or make it more difficult for you to care for your family members, like your children who need transportation to school. Losing your personal license could also affect your job if you ever have to drive for work, such as to do service or sales calls.
Your commercial driver’s license
A conviction for a DWI offense in Texas makes you ineligible for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) for at least 12 months. As someone in a commercial vehicle, you are subject to a higher standard of performance, including a lower cutoff level for your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
You could get arrested for a DWI with half the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream as a normal driver would need to have to face arrest. Additionally, an arrest for a DWI in your own vehicle could also affect your commercial license even if you have never had a drink before driving professionally.
Your other professional licensing
There are numerous licensed professions in Texas that have boards overseeing them. Professionals ranging from nurses to real estate agents are subject to licensing oversight.
In some cases, a DWI conviction could cost someone their professional license in a non-transportation industry. If the licensing board has a zero-tolerance policy for criminal convictions or if the circumstances of the DWI trigger other ethics rules, your professional license could be at risk.
Understanding the secondary consequences of a Texas DWI can help you decide the right approach to fighting back against those charges.