Driving While License Invalid DWLS

When an officer observes a person commit a violation while operating a motor vehicle upon a public street or roadway whose Texas operator’s license has been suspended by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) the officer may:
1. Issue a traffic citation for the offense of Driving While License Invalid (DWLI) if the operator has not been previously convicted of DWLI, or
2. Make a custodial arrest under the following circumstances:
a. The driver’s license of the operator of the vehicle was suspended as a result of Driving While Intoxicated (Class B),
b. The operator of the vehicle has no prior convictions, but is operating a motor vehicle without insurance (Fail- ure to Maintain Financial Responsibility -FMFR) (Class B),
c. The operator of the vehicle has been previously convicted of DWLI (Class B), or
d. The operator of the vehicle was found to be at fault for a motor vehicle accident that resulted in the serious bodily injury or death of another person (Class A).
Note: If sufficient evidence exists to indicate that a person was operating a motor vehicle upon a public street or roadway and the offense occurred out of view or presence of the officer, the officer will not make a custo- dial arrest but instead complete an offense report entitled “Traffic Offense.” The report will be forwarded to the Traffic Investigation Unit for a follow-up investigation.
B. Arresting Officer’s Duties
When confirmed by the Police Information Center (PIC) that the driver’s license is currently under suspension, the officer must:
1. Obtain as much identification information as possible to ensure that the vehicle operator is the same person whose license is reported suspended.
2. After verification , the officer must make a custodial arrest, read the actor the Miranda warning, make disposition per procedures of the actor’s vehicle transport the actor to jail and. complete the required jail booking paperwork.
3. In order to maintain the DWLI offense, officers must not issue any traffic citations to the arrested person.
4. The arresting officer must initiate an offense report titled “Traffic Code.” All information which is available that identifies the vehicle operator as the same person whose license is suspended and the associated vehicle informa- tion must be included in the report. The offense report must be directed to the Traffic Division for follow-up.
C. Traffic Investigator’s Follow-up Duties
1. The traffic investigator must obtain a certified confirmation of the license suspension from the Texas Department of Public Safety, along with all documents required by the District Attorney’s office to accept the case.
2. If the case cannot be filed in a timely manner, the prisoner will be released. When the traffic investigator receives the necessary documentation, a warrant or a citation may be issued and the case filed.

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