If you have been charged with driving under the influence or driving while impaired, there can be immediate consequences to your license. You should take steps immediately to protect your license.
Administrative Sanctions for a Refusal
If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, you received a great deal of paperwork at the police station. They probably took your driver's license as well. If you refused the breathalyzer test, you will be facing at least a 270 day suspension of your license which takes effect the 46th day after the incident. They gave you a temporary license which is good for 45 days. You can try to fight the suspension by requesting a hearing within 30 days or you can consent to the ignition interlock on your car for one year. Note that if you decide to have a hearing, you should do so within 10 days or you face the risk that your license will be suspended before the hearing if 45 days expire before the hearing takes place. Note that if you file for a hearing, you will have to have a legal basis for a "no action" or you will be offered the 270 day suspension or one year interlock anyway.
Administrative Sanctions for a .15 or Above
If you took the test and blew .15 or above, you were given the same temporary license. You face a 180 day suspension of your license beginning on the 46th day unless you file for a hearing within 30 days or elect the ignition interlock for one year. It is best to file for a hearing within 10 days if you want a hearing in case the hearing does not take place within 45 days. If you file for a hearing, you will have to have a sufficient legal basis for a "no action" or the judge will offer you a choice between the 180 day suspension and the one year interlock.
Administrative Sanctions for Between .08 and .14
If you blew between .08 and .14, the police officer took your license and gave you a 45 day temporary license. You have the same 30 days to file for a hearing (best to do it within 10 days as described above) or you can elect the interlock for one year. If you file for a hearing, you have an additional remedy. The judge can modify the 180 day suspension to allow you drive only for work, school, medical appointments, and alcohol treatment. The judge can only do this following a hearing and you cannot drive during this time period for any other reason. If you can show a sufficient legal basis for a "no action", it may be dismissed.
If you file for a hearing, you must pay a $150.00 filing fee. If you win the hearing and get a "no action", you are entitled to a refund of the filing fee. You must fill out a form to obtain a refund.
The suspensions listed above are for first time offenders. The suspensions are even longer for repeat offenders.
Mandatory Interlock for Convictions of DUI's
If you are convicted of driving under the influence, you will be required to have the ignition interlock installed for at least six months or your license will be suspended or revoked. Note that if you elected the interlock after you were charged, you will not have to do it again since the time periods are concurrent.
If you are convicted of driving while impaired and you refused the test, you will also be required to get the interlock.
District Court Proceeding
In addition to the MVA hearing, you will be required to go to court for the serious traffic citations you received. You probably received numerous tickets for driving under the influence per se, driving under the influence (generally), driving while impaired, and other minor traffic violations. DUI's carry 12 points and up to a year in jail so the consequences are serious. Your best option is to immediately begin a certified alcohol treatment program which will likely consist of a 12 week educational program or a 26 week group counseling program. The judge will expect you to address the issue promptly and your failure to do so could result in the loss of your liberty and your license.
DUI's have severe and immediate consequences. You should consult with a competent attorney experienced in such matters as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to get you the best possible result.
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