DUI Driver’s License Suspension & Revocation

It might be one of the last things you’re thinking about when you are arrested for DUI, but your driver’s license is important.  It’s hard to live life without being able to drive in Tucson or Phoenix, and even harder in the more rural areas of southern Arizona.  Being charged with DUI in Arizona will usually result in the Arizona MVD attempting to suspend you driver’s license.

Implied Consent Suspensions

When you get an Arizona driver’s license, you impliedly agree that you will take a chemical test (usually breath or blood) if a police officer believes you are DUI.  If you refuse to take a chemical test, MVD will suspend your license for a full year.  If you have refused a chemical test on a prior occasion, the MVD will suspend your license for two years.  If you submit to the test and the result shows that you are above the legal limit (.o8% blood alcohol concentration), then the MVD will suspend your license for 90 days.  In cases where a breath test is used, the result is immediate and the arresting officer will serve you with a notice of suspension.  If a blood test is taken, it can take awhile to get the results back from the crime lab.  The officer may serve you with a notice of suspension in these cases, but more often you will get it in the mail after the crime lab has published the results.

You Can Challenge The Suspension

These suspensions are automatic unless you request a hearing in writing within 15 days of receiving notice of suspension.  If a hearing request is timely submitted, the suspension will not occur until after the hearing.  The hearing itself is an administrative hearing before a MVD hearing officer.  If you are outside of the Phoenix area, these hearings are now often done via video conferencing or over the telephone due to budget cuts.  The litigation of your license suspension is completely separate from your DUI case, which is litigated in a criminal court.  At Leonardo Law Offices, we usually handle the administrative hearings (and the hearing request) as part of our representation in a DUI case.

Suspension Upon Conviction

Even if you get the suspension overturned or vacated after an MVD hearing, your license will be still suspended if you are convicted of DUI.  In this scenario, where the suspension is not administrative but comes from the DUI conviction, you will usually be required to purchase an expensive SR22 insurance policy before you get your license reinstated.

What You Can Do To Mitigate A Suspension

If you’re facing a DUI driver’s license suspension or revocation, there are things that can be done to reduce the impact on you and your family.  With any of these suspensions, it is usually possible to get a restricted license for at least a portion of the suspension.  After the first 30 days of a 90-day suspension, you can get a restricted license that allows you to drive to work, school, treatment, a probation office, an interlock device service facility, or a doctor’s office.  The only prerequisite is that you complete an alcohol evaluation/screening by a certified agency.

After the first 90 days of a one-year suspension, you can get a Special Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver’s License (“SIIRDL”) that allows you to drive to work, school, treatment, a probation office, an interlock device service facility, or a doctor’s office.  The SIIRDL requires that you complete an alcohol evaluation/screening and have an ignition interlock device installed on you car.

Getting Your License Back

After successfully completing any DUI license suspension, you will be required to have a restricted interlock device license for 6 months or more before you can obtain a regular license.  This means that you must get an ignition interlock device installed on your car and that the license only permits you to drive that car.  An ignition interlock device essentially requires you to take a breath test before you can start the car and at random intervals after the car has been started.

If you are facing DUI charges in Arizona, it is critical that you are represented by an experienced DUI attorney who knows this area of the law. At Leonardo Law Offices, we are experienced in handling felony and misdemeanor DUI cases, including extreme and super-extreme DUI charges, and have had good results.  Our representation includes handling license suspension matters administratively with the Arizona MVD.  For a free assessment of your case, call our Tucson, Arizona office at (520) 314-4125 or contact us online.