How a DWI Affects Your Driving Record
Having a clean driving record is important in many situations. Anything that can negatively impact your driving record can affect your insurance premiums, job applications, and even homeownership opportunities. But nothing affects your driving record like a DWI conviction. Facing driving while intoxicated charges can dramatically impact your life in all aspects. By working with a Tyler DWI attorney, you can understand how the charges affect your driving record and what you can do to get your life back in order.
DWI and Insurance
After the initial fees and fines associated with a DWI charge, the next major financial hurdle is with your insurance. Texas requires all drivers to have minimum liability protection coverage when driving on state roads. If you fail to meet this minimum, you could face additional fees and fines and also license suspension. However, the minimum requirement jumps up after you face a DWI conviction.
After you have a DWI conviction, you’ll need to provide additional proof of auto liability insurance for at least two years. To provide this proof, you need to work with your insurance adjuster to fill out and send in an SR-22 form. This step is an absolute requirement, especially if you are want your license reinstated.
But the additional time isn’t the only cost. Insurance premiums and monthly payments almost always skyrocket after a DWI charge, even without a full conviction. A Tyler DWI attorney can help you identify insurance policies that will cover your new minimum and help you complete your SR-22 form. They can also help you make an appeal to your insurance company to reduce the premium if you were not convicted of your DWI charges.
DWI and License Suspension
License suspension is a pretty common penalty for DWI charges. License suspension can last anywhere from 90 days to two years, depending on any previous driving record charges. You may also get additional suspension time if your charge includes other traffic violations, such as reckless driving or causing an accident.
Most people rely on driving to get to school, go to work, and take care of their families. However, driving is considered a privilege in Texas, not a right, and you have to earn your license back after putting other drivers and passengers at risk. A Tyler DWI lawyer can help you understand the specifics of your license suspension and how you can work to get your life back.
For most first-time offenders, there is the option to avoid a license suspension altogether. As long as you make a hearing for your case within 15 days of your arrest, you can defend your side in court and possibly reduce the charges of your ticket. Bringing an experienced DWI attorney with you can help. However, many drivers charged with DWI will still face license suspension, which can dramatically affect their daily life. There are two options for license reinstatement.
Driving may be a privilege, but it is also often a requirement for living in this day and age. Many rely on transportation to take care of themselves and their families. A special occupational license may be issued if the circumstances require it. A driver can make an appeal to have an occupational license ordered if their regular driver’s license is suspended.
While an occupational license allows you to drive again, it’s only for a specific reason or function. For example, a student may be allowed to drive to and from school but nowhere else. If you are found driving outside of the parameters of your occupational license, you face heavy fines and additional penalties.
Restricted Interlock License
If you need your license for more complicated matters or are facing a long-term license suspension, you can also apply for a restricted interlock license. This specific license allows you to operate a vehicle as long as it has an ignition interlock device. This device monitors your blood alcohol content levels before starting, ensuring that the driver is sober before setting off.
While this license allows you more freedom than an occupational license, you will be responsible for paying for the device, installation, and regular maintenance. If you drive a vehicle without a device installed, you face heavy fines and additional penalties.
Tyler DWI Attorney
A DWI charge stays on your record indefinitely. It’s important that you contact a Tyler DWI attorney as soon as possible after your arrest to ensure they are available for your initial hearing. At the Hager Law Firm, we’re here to help you defend your case. We can navigate the tricky business of auto insurance and license suspension. If you need help with a DWI charge, call the Hager Law Firm today at (903) 466-0001.