Why did I lose my license if I was found not guilty of DUI?
Recently we had a driver on our forum wonder how the Department of Motor Vehicles could have suspended his license even though his drunk driving case was dismissed by the criminal court.
Unfortunately, this is not unusual. Due to the administrative per se laws instituted by states throughout the United States it is legal for the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state to suspend your license even if your case is dismissed or you were found not guilty of drunk driving.
What happens to my license after a DUI arrest?
Most states have implied consent laws which mean that you, as a driver, have given your implied consent to submit to a blood alcohol content test if you are arrested for drunk driving. State laws differ, but in Pennsylvania, for instance, a blood alcohol content test refusal can lead to a driver’s license suspension of up to one year for a first test refusal.
A driver’s license suspension can also occur if you submit to the test but your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above the legal limit of 0.08%. In many states the refusal suspension may be longer than the suspension you face if you are actually convicted of drunk driving.
I refused to submit to the blood alcohol content test
For years drivers were told to refuse blood alcohol content tests, but with the passage of implied consent laws this may not always be the best course of action. Refusing a test may help you avoid a DUI charge because the state may not have enough evidence that your BAC level was above the illegal limit of 0.08%, but many times the driver may still be charged with driving under the influence and convicted of DUI based on other types of evidence such as admission of guilt, a field sobriety test, driving observations and the officer’s testimony that the driver was impaired.
As mentioned above, if you refuse the chemical test the DMV will also suspend your license. In many states your BAC test refusal will also be used against you in court.
What do I do now?
So, to answer this driver’s question, if your license has been suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles through an administrative license suspension you have the option to challenge the suspension through an administrative hearing but my guess is that since you only have a short time to request a hearing than your opportunity to challenge the suspension has passed.
What are you other options? Depending on your state you may be able to request a hardship license which will allow you to drive to work, to school, to medical appointments and alcohol education training classes (if required).
Reinstating your License after a DUI
After you have served the requisite time for the license suspension you should contact the DMV and find out the requirements for reinstating your license. Requirements vary. Some states will require you to pay fines, takes alcohol education courses, and purchase special insurance.
Talking to a DUI lawyer may help but it sounds like you will simply have to wait until the license suspension has been completed. And remember, the DMV can suspend your license even if you avoid a DUI conviction.
- DUI – Reinstating Florida License (duiattorneyhome.com)
- DUI- How do I know if I was arrested for drunk driving? (duiattorneyhome.com)
- Oregon DUI – Requesting an Administrative Hearing (duiattorneyhome.com)