(a) The judge who hears the petition shall sign an order finding whether an essential need exists.
(b) In determining whether an essential need exists, the judge shall consider:
(1) the petitioner's driving record; and
(2) any evidence presented by a person under Section 521.243(b) .
(c) If the judge finds that there is an essential need, the judge also, as part of the order, shall:
(1) determine the actual need of the petitioner to operate a motor vehicle; and
(2) require the petitioner to provide evidence of financial responsibility in accordance with Chapter 601.
(d) Except as provided by Section 521.243(b) , the hearing on the petition may be ex parte.
(e) A person convicted of an offense under Sections 49.04 - 49.08, Penal Code , who is restricted to the operation of a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device is entitled to receive an occupational license without a finding that an essential need exists for that person, provided that the person shows:
(1) evidence of financial responsibility under Chapter 601; and
(2) proof the person has had an ignition interlock device installed on each motor vehicle owned or operated by the person.
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