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What Happens To My License After A DUI In Arizona?

When you are arrested for an Arizona DUI you will have to respond to two separate cases against you. One will be the criminal charge that will take place in a criminal court. The other is the civil trial to determine the fate of your driver’s license, and this one will take place at the Motor Vehicle Division’s Executive Hearing Office. Since one case is civil and the other is criminal, the State has two opportunities to suspend or revoke your license.

Implied Consent after an Arizona DUI arrest

Like other states, Arizona sees driving as a privilege. You were granted that privilege when you passed state exams and signed for your driver’s license. Your signature is an agreement to submit to a chemical test if you are arrested for DUI. You are giving police permission to check your breath, blood or urine for the presence of alcohol and/or drugs. In Arizona, you do not have the right to choose which test to take. It is up to the police officer. If you are arrested for DUI and refuse to submit to the chemical test or do not successfully complete the DUI test, your license will automatically be suspended for 12 months for the first refusal and 2 years for the second (if it is within 5 years of the first DUI arrest). You will have a 15 day period to request an administrative hearing. If you request the hearing, the suspension does not go into effect until the hearing is concluded. The purpose of this hearing is for the police to prove they warned you of the consequences of refusing the chemical test and you refused to take it.

Administrative Per Se Suspension of your Arizona License

An ordinary DUI arrest will begin with the officer taking your license and giving you a temporary permit that is good for 15 days. If you fail to request an MVD hearing within those 15 days, a 90 day suspension goes into effect. You will not be able to drive at all for the first 30 days of the suspension period, but you will be eligible for a work permit for the remaining 60 days. If you have an out-of-state license, you will not be able to drive at all for the entire 90 days. At the hearing, an Administrative Law Judge presides over the case. There is no jury. The State is trying to prove several things: * The officer had grounds to pull you over. * The officer had cause to believe you were under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. * All tests were performed correctly and mandatory procedures were followed. Any testing device used has been properly maintained and accurately calibrated. The arresting officer is required to appear and if he does not, the civil charge will be dismissed. If the MVD Judge rules against you, it still takes time for the judge to put his decision in writing and mail it to you. The suspension does not go into effect until 20 days after it is mailed. The most valuable aspect of the MVD hearing is that you and your DUI attorney will get to see the evidence that the State has against you for the criminal trial. This may help you decide if you want to fight your DUI criminal charge or could give your attorney leverage to negotiate with the Prosecutor. An experienced DUI attorney in your area can help you fight your license suspension as well as your criminal charge.