If you are arrested for DUI, you are subject to TWO different suspensions of your driver’s license.
- First, the DMV, an administrative agency, can suspend your license if you failed or refused a breath test or urine test. You should try to fight the DMV by requesting an implied consent hearing online, but you only have 10 days from the date of your arrest. Otherwise, the suspension will be automatic. It is best to ask a lawyer to schedule the hearing for you, otherwise you might end up with a date your attorney is not available. Have your drivers license number handy when you call, it will be listed on your citation. The hearing will be held about 3 weeks after your arrest, and the judge will quickly decide whether or not your license will be suspended. Hiring a lawyer vastly increases your chances of winning these hearings. And even if you don’t win, there is no penalty for losing, other than the suspension you would have received anyway. Plus you can learn a lot about the case. So you should definitely ask for one if you can. DMV suspensions last 90 days to 3 years or more, depending on your record. Read more about Implied Consent Hearings HERE.
- The Court can ALSO suspend your license in certain circumstances. If your court case is dismissed or if you participate in diversion, the Court will not suspend your license and you will just have the DMV suspension, if any, to contend with. If you are convicted, however, your license will be suspended for 1 year, 3 years, or life, depending on your past record
Even if your license is suspended by the DMV or the court, you may be eligible for a Hardship Permit (usually after a waiting period). You will need to fill out a hardship license application, pay an application fee, and obtain a letter from your employer stating that you are employed and the days and times you need to drive for work.
You will also need to have an SR-22 filing from an insurance company, which will greatly increase your insurance rates. To avoid this, some people choose not to drive at all and forego the hardship license, even if they are eligible. Others choose to get an SR-22 from a different insurance company.
For precise details regarding waiting periods, suspension periods, etc. you can consult this Suspension/Revocation Chart promulgated by the DMV.