What is an Administration license suspension?
Driving is a privilege and states have created implied consent laws which state that if a driver is arrested for drunk driving they have given their “implied consent” to submit to a chemical test if asked to do so by a law enforcement officer. Refusing to submit to the test or failing the test now brings about harsh civil penalties in most states.
Penalties for an administrative license suspension
The administrative penalties are civil not criminal penalties. They are separate from DUI criminal penalties a driver faces if they are eventually convicted of drunk driving, and they are brought by the Department of Motor Vehicles (or corresponding department) in each state.
Drivers who refuse to take the blood alcohol content test or who take the blood alcohol test and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) which is above the maximum amount legally allowed in (0.08%) will generally have their license suspended.
The amount of time a driver’s license will be suspended will vary by state. Some states only suspend a driver’s license if they refuse to take the BAC test, not if they fail the test. Other states suspend the driver’s license for both.
In most states the driver’s license is immediately confiscated by the law enforcement officer and the driver is given a temporary permit to drive.
Can I challenge the Administration License Suspension?
States allow the drivers to challenge the administrative license suspension but the challenge must be done within a specified number of days from receiving the notice. Drivers may hire a drunk driving lawyer to review their case and file the appeal of the suspension for them. Drivers may also have their DUI lawyer attend the hearing for them.
Although the administrative hearing
is not related to the criminal case, it does allow the chance for the DUI lawyer to review the evidence the state has against the driver and determine whether or not they are likely to be eventually convicted of drunk driving.
What happens at the Administrative Hearing?
The administrative hearing will determine whether or not the police officers followed the legal procedures outlined in the implied consent laws. As mentioned above, this hearing has no impact on your criminal charge.
Drivers may have the opportunity to cross examine the witnesses and the DUI lawyer can notify the court if they believe there has been a violation of the implied consent statute.
If you have hired a DUI lawyer the hearing will provide them with the opportunity to present any evidence that the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles should not suspend your driver’s license.
Penalties for drunk driving
Before implied consent laws it was not unusual for most DUI lawyers to tell drivers to refuse to submit to all chemical testing. Now, with the harsh penalties for refusing a chemical test, drivers should be more cautious about refusing a BAC test. In some circumstances the BAC refusal can carry harsher DUI administrative penalties than taking the test and being charged with a DUI.
If you have been charged with drunk driving, contact a DUI lawyer immediately to find out the next steps for challenging your administrative license suspension.
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