The Dallas Controversy Over Required Counseling For Occupational Licenses
Among the criminal district court judges in Dallas County, there is a controversy brewing over parts of the occupational license laws. Specifically, the judges have been reassessing the provisions regarding counseling for alcohol dependence. Under the Texas Transportation Code Section 521.245, the following is stated:
REQUIRED COUNSELING. (a) If the petitioner’s license has been suspended under Chapter 524 (Administrative Suspension of Driver’s License for Failure to Pass Test for Intoxication) or 724 (Implied Consent), the court shall require the petitioner to attend a program approved by the court that is designed to provide counseling and rehabilitation services to persons for alcohol dependence. This requirement shall be stated in the order granting the occupational license.
(b) The program required under Subsection (a) may not be the program provided by Section 521.344 or by Section 13, Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure.
(c) The court may require the person to report periodically to the court to verify that the person is attending the required program.
(d) On finding that the person is not attending the program as required, the court may revoke the order granting the occupational license. The court shall send a certified copy of the order revoking the license to the department.
(e) On receipt of the copy under Subsection (d), the department shall suspend the person’s occupational license for:
(1) 60 days, if the original driver’s license suspension was under Chapter 524; or
(2) 120 days, if the original driver’s license suspension was under Chapter 724.
(f) A suspension under Subsection (e):
(1) takes effect on the date on which the court signs the order revoking the occupational license; and
(2) is cumulative of the original suspension.
(g) A person is not eligible for an occupational license during a period of suspension under Subsection (e).
The current controversy is that the judges are apparently trying to apply this statute broadly to all alcohol related suspensions in their court when this particular statute applies to a suspension for failure to pass intoxication test or refusal to take the intoxication test. This statute is not applicable to suspensions for convictions of DWI offenses.
Fortunately, we have been able to bring to light this distinction to one judge so far. Hopefully, the rest will soon follow and this matter will not be debated in the future. For a review of your occupational license or for a free consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our office at the numbers listed below. Thank you.
1) By Phone – 214-321-4105
2) In Person – We are located at 8360 Lyndon B Johnson Freeway, #260 and are available Mon – Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
3) Via Live Chat
4) By Email – You can email our office by filling out the form on THIS PAGE