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I was Arrested for DUI. Should I Request a DOL Hearing?

Posted by attorney Linda Callahan

Yes! In most cases you should. If you don't request a hearing your license or privilege will be suspended or revoked 60 days from the date of your arrest.

How long will my license be suspended or revoked? You are OK to drive (unless your license is suspended or revoked for another reason) until the 60th day following your arrest (unless you took a blood test). The length of suspension or revocation depends on whether you took the breath test and whether you have prior incidents.

For drivers over 21:

  • 90 day suspension if you took the breath or blood test and DOL has not suspended or revoked your license following a DUI or Physical Control arrest within 7 years
  • 2 year revocation if you took the breath or blood test and DOL has suspended or revoked your license following a DUI or Physical Control arrest within 7 years
  • 1 year revocation if you refused to consent to the breath or blood test and you have not refused and DOL has not suspended or revoked your license following a DUI, Physical Control, or Driver Under 21 Consuming Alcohol arrest within 7 years
  • 2 year revocation if you refused to consent to the breath or blood test and you have refused or DOL has suspended or revoked your license following a DUI, Physical Control, or Driver Under 21 Consuming Alcohol arrest within 7 years

How do I request a DOL hearing? Complete the “Driver’s Hearing Request" form, a check or money order for $200 and send it to the DOL or apply online. YOu may request the fee be wiaved by including a “Hearing Fee Waiver Application."

How long do I have to request a hearing? You have only 20 days from the date of arrest to request a hearing with the DOL (unless you took a blood test).

What happens when I request a hearing? DOL will not suspend or revoke your temporary license until a decision is made after your hearing. DOL must schedule the hearing within 60 days of the date of your arrest (or the date it notified you of its intent to take away your privilege to drive). DOL notify you when your hearing will be, within 10 days of the hearing.

What happens at the hearing? The hearing officer will call the number you provided. The hearing officer will admit the police report unless there are objections sustained. Your lawyer may also introduce evidence. Subpoaened witnesses will be conferenced and questioned. You may testify but this could hurt your criminal case.

What if I need more time or will be unavailable on the day of the hearing? You may request another date but you have to do this at least two business days before the hearing, in writing. You may request a continuance only once, unless you have an extreme emergency.

What are the issues at a DUI DOL hearing? The issues for the hearing officer to decide are:

  • Whether the officer had a lawful reason to contact you and “reasonable grounds" to believe that you were either:

    • driving or were in physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs; or
    • under the age of 21 years and driving or in physical control of a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol
  • Whether the officer correctly gave you the Implied Consent Warnings

  • Whether you refused the breath or blood test or if you took the test, whether it was: .08 or more if you were at least 21; .02 or more if you were under age 21; .04 or more if you were driving a commercial vehicle

  • Whether the test was accurate.

Does DOL dismiss DUI suspensions or revocations? Yes. Although DOL hearings are difficult to win, every hearing officer has dismissed cases. Some of the reasons that DOL has dismissed cases in the past include:

  • Incomplete or defective report - missing key element(s) of evidence
  • Illegible report -key element(s) of evidence illegible
  • Boxes not checked or typos - missing key element(s) of evidence
  • Missing pages - missing statutorily required information or key element(s) of evidence
  • Officer error
  • DOL error
  • Credibility problem
  • Unlawful stop
  • Unlawful arrest

What will happen after the hearing? The hearing officer will send you the decision stating whether the proposed suspension or revocation will go into effect, and if so. You then have 30 days to appeal. Or, you can apply for an ignition interlock driver’s license, which will allows you to continue to drive.

How do I get my license back after the suspension or revocation is over? You must reinstate your license in order to be able to drive again. You must submit proof of high risk (SR22) insurance. You will also need to pay the standard licensing fees as well as a reinstatement fee.

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