The first 10 days after a DUI - A Primer
If you are accused of DUI and have refused to give a sample of your breath, urine or blood when requested, or if you blew above the legal limit, your license is in danger of being suspended for either 12 or 6 months, respectively. In this short primer, we're going to help you decide what to do next.
Choice A - Do NothingThe scene: You've gone to first appearance and either by bonding out or being released on your own recognizance, you now find yourself wondering what to do next, with regards to your license being suspended for either refusing to give a sample of your breath, urine or blood (a possible 12 month suspension) or you gave a sample of your breath, urine or blood and it was above the legal limit (a possible 6 month suspension).
If you do nothing, once those 10 days have lapsed, you*ll receive a 30-day *hard* suspension (if you blew above the legal limit) or a 90-day *hard* suspension (if you refused to give a sample of your breath, urine or blood). A hard suspension is so-called because you cannot drive legally for any reason during the period of the *hard* suspension. This is as opposed to being allowed to drive with a hardship license (more on that in a minute).
I would not advise a person to simply do nothing. Doing nothing happens mostly because clients do not know about this need to act in 10 days, or cannot get out of jail following a DUI arrest. Please keep in mind that the Office of the Public Defender will not be appointed to you for purposes of the administrative review hearing to determine the fate of your license suspenditure, one of the most important reasons to consult with private counsel as quickly as possible following your arrest.
Choice B - Request a Formal Review HearingRequesting a Formal Review Hearing is the most aggressive of the options at your disposal. This will get you a 42-day driving permit and also an opportunity to invalidate the suspension that you received at roadside either for blowing above the legal limit (a 6 months suspension) or refusing to provide a breath, urine or blood sample (a 12 months suspension).
A victory at a Formal Review Hearing invalidates your administrative license suspension. A loss at a Formal Review Hearing will land you with a 30 or 90-day *hard* suspension, depending on whether you blew above the legal limit (30 days) or failed to provide a breath, urine or breath sample (90 days).
Choice C - Request a Waiver Review HearingFinally, the third option is to request a waiver Review Hearing for an immediate reinstatement. The upside of this choice is that you essentially trade in your opportunity to beat the license suspension at a Formal Review Hearing for the certainty that your driving privilege (albeit a hardship privilege subject to limitations for school and work driving purposes) will not be interrupted, at least until the resolution of your DUI case.