When a person is arrested on DUI charges, the DMV will impose its own penalties separate from those the courts impose. These penalties (license restrictions or suspensions) are mandatory, and court proceedings will have no bearing on what the DMV chooses to do regarding your driving privileges until a verdict is reached. The DMV will make its own choices based on the evidence you present. A skilled DUI attorney will be able to help you successfully defend yourself and maximize your chances of retaining your driving privileges until your case is over, in addition to helping ensure that your criminal court proceedings have the best possible outcome.
At the DMV hearing, a hearing officer will render a judgment based on all the evidence presented. Many issues are discussed at the DMV hearing, including:
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- Whether the suspect was in fact the person driving the vehicle
- Whether the arresting officer had probable cause to make the stop
- Whether the arrest was made lawfully
- Whether the driver had a BAC higher than the legal limit
An effective DUI attorney who is intimately familiar with DUI arrest procedures, sobriety testing procedures, breathalyzer technology and evidence guidelines will be able to challenge the prosecution regarding all of these issues to help the suspect retain his/her driving privileges until the case is over.
Once the case is over, if the suspect is found not guilty, his/her license will be reinstated, and all restrictions on his/her driving privileges will be lifted.
Listed below are the standard license suspensions and revocations for those convicted of DUI:
- Drivers under 21 with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.01% or higher will have their licenses suspended for at least one year for each offense.
- Drivers 21 and older who are stopped with a BAC of 0.08% or higher will have their licenses suspended for four months for the first offense and at least one year for each subsequent offense.
- Those who refuse to submit to a chemical test automatically have their licenses suspended for one year for the first offense, revoked two years for the second offense or revoked three years for the third offense.