When can I have my license reinstated?
Operating a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.8% or higher is illegal in every state. Recently on our DUI forum we had a driver ask, “If I have been arrested for DUI and lost my driver’s license is there a way to get my drivers license back early?”
Many drivers are surprised after a DUI arrest to find their drivers license has been confiscated and they are facing a license suspension. They are even more surprised to find that they can lose their drivers license even if they are not convicted of DUI. This is done through an administrative license suspension, and penalties for this type of suspension are determined by your state.
If you have had your drivers license suspended through an administrative license suspension the suspension can be challenged in most states through a hearing, but the hearing must be requested within a specified time period after the DUI arrest. Failure to challenge the suspension will ensure your drivers license will be suspended.
Steps to get your drivers license reinstated
If you have lost your drivers license due to a DUI conviction or an administrative suspension and you were not able to successfully challenge the suspension through an administrative hearing you will not get your drivers license back until you have completed the steps outlined by the Department of Motor Vehicles for your state.
Most states have a DMV website which allows you to search your license number and determine what restrictions you have on your license and what you need to do to have your license reinstated.
For instance, after a Texas DWI drivers must complete an alcohol education course, complete their license suspension and pay all of their DWI fees and penalties. Finally, they must provide proof they have purchased SR-22 insurance. All of this information is sent to the Texas Department of Public Transportation.
State laws vary and you may not need to do everything someone in Texas has to do, but there will be requirements for your state you will have to complete to reinstate your license.
Can you speed up the drivers license reinstatement process?
Obviously, if you take your education course immediately, pay your fines immediately, and get your insurance quickly you have eliminated several hurdles to getting your license back after your DUI conviction or suspension, but it will be impossible to speed up the license suspension requirement period. So to answer the driver’s question, no it will not be possible to avoid the license suspension entirely. For instance, if the state requires a one year suspension, you will have your license suspended for at least one year.
Will hiring a lawyer reduce the license suspension time?
Although hiring a lawyer may help avoid a DUI conviction or help you win at the administrative hearing when you challenge the administrative suspension, if you have already been convicted of DUI they will not be able to reduce the suspension requirements (unless they are able to get your DUI conviction reduced lesser charge).
Other options for getting my license
One other option you may try to allow you to drive is to review your state’s options for a hardship license. Not all states allow hardship licenses to be issued and whether you can get one may depend on how many times you have been charged or convicted for DUI or if you have refused to take a blood alcohol test but it’s worth investigating.
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