The Different Suspensions: An Overview There are two types of administrative suspensions that may arise from a DUI arrest: one for having a breath/blood alcohol (BAC) level of .08 or higher, and one for refusing to submit to a lawfully requested test. A suspension for an unlawful BAC is 6 months. A suspension for a first refusal is for 1 year. The DUI citation that the arrestee receives acts as a driver's license for 10 days from the date of the arrest, so long as the offender's license was otherwise valid the time of the arrest. It is within this 10-day period that the arrestee must elect whether or not to challenge the basis for that suspension by way of an informal or formal review hearing, or to waive that suspension and elect an immediate hardship permit. While there are many legal and factual scenarios that factor into this decision, the main concern for the arrestee will be ramifications of losing the hearing. These ramifications are discussed below in more detail. The DUBAL Suspension DUBAL is an acronym that means a person was arrested for DUI while "driving with an unlawful breath/blood alcohol level." This means the arrested person blows a .08 or higher. In this case, the DHSMV will suspend the person's driving privilege for a period of 6 months. If an individual elects to challenge this suspension, then he or she will be issued a temporary driving permit that is good for 42 days. Upon winning the hearing, the suspension would be invalidated and the person would receive his or her license back. If the hearing is lost, then the driver would not be able to drive for any reason for a period of 30 days. Upon enrollment in DUI school, the driver may apply for a hardship license after this 30-day period expires. That means, that during this 30-day period, the driver would need to find alternative means of getting to and from work, school, medical appointments, grocery store, social functions, etc. Even with a strong argument that the suspension is invalid, many times a driver will not want to risk this 30-day suspension period because his or her lifestyle will not support it. For instance, many of my client's work in a different county than the one in which they live. In this type of scenario, it can create a financial hardship to have to pay for transportation to and from work for the next 30 days. In such case, the lawyer must discuss these potential consequences with the client so he or she can make the decision that is in his or her best interest. The Refusal Suspension The refusal suspension means a suspension resulting from an arrested driver refusing a lawfully requested breath or urine test. A refusal suspension is for 1 years. The same 10 day rule applies as discussed above, and one still receives a 42-day permit he elects to challenge the suspension. If a person waives the formal review hearing, then he or she will receive a hardship license for the entire 1 year period. However, if the person challenges the suspension and wins, then he or she will have 90 day period of no driving instead of 30. Upon the 90-day period expiring and proof of enrollment in DUI school, the person will be eligible for a hardship. As discussed above, the lawyer and client will discuss not only the case, but the client's lifestyle, to help the client make the decision that is best for him or her. Lifestyle vs. Facts of the Case I generally always recommend to my clients that they challenge the suspension and elect a formal review hearing, when their lifestyles allow. Even if a loss is inevitable, it can be a powerful discovery tool to fight the criminal DUI case. Furthermore, when meeting with the lawyer to discuss the formal review hearing, the lifestyle choice will likely be the deciding factor because at such and early stage in the case the client and lawyer will have very little information regarding the facts of the case in-front of them at the initial meeting. The information available to the lawyer will almost have to come exclusively from the client. While the general facts of the arrest will be easily relayed by the client to the lawyer, the specific procedures used by the officer and whether there are any defects in the paperwork will likely not be known. This means that at the time the review hearing is elected, the chance of winning or losing are not known. Therefore, the likelihood of winning or losing should not always be a deciding factor. Conclusion Fight when you can afford to.