DWI Repercussions on Driver’s Education
Getting a driver’s license is a major life milestone, many see it as a right of passage. But there are repercussions if a parent has a DWI.
There are many hours involved in signing off as a parent “instructor” for a person’s driver’s license. One of the most embarrassing things that can happen is to have your child about ready to take their driver’s license test and to be told at a Texas DPS counter that they don’t qualify due to your DWI. Not to mention, having a driver’s license application rejected because of this wastes many precious hours that will have to be redone by someone who qualifies. Many teenagers are turning to their parents in modern times to satisfy the driver’s education requirement for a driver’s license. A DWI conviction or ALR suspension can prevent a person from qualifying as an “instructor” for parent taught driver’s education. Parent taught driver’s education, formerly run by the Texas Department of Public Safety, is now regulated by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). As a DWI repercussion, the regulations state that the student’s parent, step-parent, grandparent, step-grandparent, foster parent or legal guardian appointed by a court does not qualify if they have not had a valid driver’s license in the past 3 years (eg. an ALR suspension) or a DWI in the last 7 years. If you are going through a DWI or have had a DWI conviction in the last 7 years please save yourself time and trouble by enrolling your student driver in a formal driver’s education course or designate someone who otherwise qualifies. For qualifications see: https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/driver/parenttaughtreqs.htm#instructor. Although this is a very unfair action penalizing the student driver, it is critical to know that this is the law. It is also very helpful to know that there are other requirements that must be met (not having too many ‘points’ on your diving record) to qualify as an instructor for parent driver education.
Mimi Coffey is a nationally-renowned trial attorney, board-certified in DWI by the NCDD, who has been practicing for over 24 years and is an author of multiple DWI Defense textbooks and is a national and state-wide lecturer on the law.