Recently on our legal forum a user asked, “I had my 21st birthday celebration two days ago. I got wasted and drove home. Unfortunately, I also got stopped and arrested for my first Florida DUI. I am wondering what penalties I might face and whether I might have to spend time in jail. This is not the way I wanted to start out my life. Can you help me?”
Recently on our DUI forum a user asked, “I have lived in multiple states. It seems like every state has a different acronym they use for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Last month I moved to Texas where they use DWI (driving while intoxicated). Can you clarify the different between DUI and DWI in the state of Texas?”
Recently on our DUI forum a user asked, “I was stopped for DUI two nights ago and after I was arrested the police officer immediately confiscated my driver’s license. I don’t understand why I would lose my license even before I have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). What do I do now?”
All states have severe penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. State laws, however, can vary. If you have been arrested for operating under the influence in Maine (OUI) there are very specific things you should understand about your Maine OUI arrest. Below we discuss the top 5 Maine OUI questions.
Recently on our DUI forum a user asked, “If I was involved in a traffic accident in Washington, D.C., and was charged with DUI. What penalties can I expect? My blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was below the legal limit. Will they still have enough evidence to charge me with a DUI?”
If you have been arrested for DUI you may still be in shock, wondering what you should do. It is common for drivers to wait and hope the problem somehow just goes away. Guess what? It doesn’t. You may know that you will eventually need to talk to a DUI lawyer, but did you also know you should immediately contact the DMV or Department of Motor Vehicles in your state to discuss how to avoid a license suspension.
Most Ohio drivers do not realize that if they have been arrested for OVI or operating a motorized vehicle in the state of Ohio they have given their implied consent to submit to a chemical test. Refusal or failing this test can bring administrative OVI penalties from the Ohio Department of Public Safety. These administrative penalties are separate from all criminal penalties and can be enforced even if you are ultimately found not guilty of drunk driving or OVI.
When can the officer request a blood alcohol content test?
Ohio law enforcement officers have the legal right to ask you to take a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine if you have been arrested for OVI. Keep in mind, you may also have the legal right to request your own independent test (at your own expense).
What happens if you refuse to take the blood alcohol content test? The first BAC test refusal will result in a license suspension for one year. If you agree to take the test but your blood alcohol content is above the legal limit of 0.08% or higher you will face an administrative license suspension of 90 days.
What happens after the Ohio OVI arrest?
If you are arrested the police officer should provide you with information about the consequences of refusing the blood alcohol content test. All of the implied consent provision information is also provided on the back of Form 2255. As mentioned above, the penalties for a test refusal or test failure are administrative in nature. If you are ultimately convicted of OVI in Ohio, assuming this is your first OVI conviction, you are also facing a criminal license suspension which can result in a license suspension for 6 months to 3 years.
How can I challenge an Ohio Administrative License Suspension?
If you have had your license suspended you are able to challenge the administrative license suspension through a hearing. This hearing must be requested within a specific number of days from the DUI arrest and you are allowed to have a DUI lawyer present at the hearing.
At the hearing the judge will review the following:
1. Did the Ohio law enforcement officer have the right to arrest you?
2. Did the Ohio law enforcement officer inform you of the consequences of a blood alcohol test failure or refusal?
3. Did you refuse to take the blood alcohol content test?
4. Did you take the test and have a blood alcohol concentration above the level limit of 0.08%?
If the court (after reviewing the issues above) affirms the administrative license suspension than you will have your license suspended either 90 days or 1 year. If, however, the driver prevails at their hearing the ALS suspension will be set aside.
Keep in mind, however, that if the ALS suspension is set aside or lapses and you are than convicted of a first-time OVI than the court will impose a criminal license suspension which can be 6 months to 3 years. The good news it the 90 license administrative license suspension can be credited against the criminal license suspension.
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Will my South Dakota License be suspended after DUI?
South Dakota considers driving a privilege and under South Dakota’s Implied Consent Laws drivers may face “administrative” penalties from the South Dakota Department of Motor Vehicles, which is a separate process from punishments following a criminal conviction for drunk driving in South Dakota, even if they are not convicted of drunk driving.
In South Dakota there is a mandatory punishment for all drivers who refuse to take the blood alcohol content test or who take the test and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) which is above the maximum amount legally allowed in South Dakota (0.08%).
Penalties assesses by the Department of Motor Vehicles for a first time drunk driving offense is a 30 day license suspension. If a driver is arrested a second time they are facing a one year South Dakota License suspension, and third time drunk driving offenders can face a 3 year license suspension.
Drivers who refuse to submit to chemical testing will have their license suspended for one year even if they are not legally intoxicated. The license revocation typically starts on the 120th day following the South Dakota drunk driving arrest although the arresting officer will generally confiscate the driver’s license at the time of the DUI arrest.
Talk to a DUI lawyer about your DUI arrest to find out how to contest your license suspension through an Administrative Hearing. Hearings to challenge the license suspension can be requested within a specified time after the drunk driving arrest.
What happens after the Administrative Hearing?
Drivers who lose at the Administrative License Hearing have the right to file an appeal, but they will have to continue to serve out the suspension until the court concludes their DUI case (qualifying drivers may be able to request and acquire a Limited Driving Privilege license).
What if you lose at the appeal level? You will have to serve out the remaining time of your license suspension. Following your license suspension you may request a license reinstatement.
If you win at the Administrative License Hearing or at the appeal level, your license will be given back to you.
Criminal Penalties for first drunk driving charge in South Dakota
As mentioned above, the Administrative License Suspension is just the first step in the penalties you can face after a drunk driving arrest. If you are convicted of drunk driving in South Dakota you may also face the following criminal penalties:
- Potential jail time for up to 48 hours
- Fines not to exceed $1,000
- Look back periods of 10 year. This means that if you are arrested for a second drunk driving charge within 10 years, in the state of South Dakota, it will be considered your second drunk driving charge. Drivers arrested for a drunk driving charge after 10 years will be considered first time DUI offenders.
- Drivers may be required to install an ignition interlock device.
- Potential community service or house arrest
What if I am caught driving with a suspended license in South Dakota?
Do not drive with a suspended license. This can be considered a criminal offense and depending on the number of previous DUI convictions you have had in the past, you could face mandatory jail time.
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The State of Georgia considers driving a privilege. A suspension of your driver’s license can allow the State of Georgia to withdraw your ability to driver for a specified time period. After the suspension is complete and you have completed the requirements of reinstatement, you may apply to have your Georgia driver’s license reinstated.
What traffic violations can result in a Georgia administrative license suspension?
According to the Georgia Department of Public Safety, your Georgia driver’s license can be suspended under an Administrative License Suspension for any of the following violations:
- A conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Vehicular homicide
- Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used.
- Using a motor vehicle in fleeing or attempting to elude an officer.
- Fraudulent or fictitious use of, or application for a license.
- Hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident.
- If you refuse to take a chemical test for intoxication, then your license will be suspended for 12 months.
- Operating a motor vehicle with a revoked, canceled, or suspended registration in violation of Code Section 40-6-15.
- Conviction for driving without insurance is a 60/90-day suspension.
- If convicted for driving while license is suspended, revoked or canceled, your driver’s license will be further suspended for six months.
- If you fail to appear in court or respond to a citation, your license may be suspended indefinitely.
- Your driver’s license will be suspended if you are convicted of possession, distribution, manufacture, cultivation, sale or transfer of a controlled substance or marijuana.
- The Department is authorized to suspend your license if its records or other evidence shows that you have accumulated 15 points within 24 months under the point system, including violations committed out of state.
Can I get a hardship or limited license in Georgia after a drunk driving conviction?
Drivers who receive a first or second DUI conviction may apply for a limited driving permit. Limited permits will allow you to:
- Travel to and from work and perform your normal job duties.
- Travel to and from medical visits
- Attend college or another scheduled school
- Service your ignition interlock device
- Attend a court-ordered drug or alcohol treatment program
The Georgia Department of Public Safety has the authority to restrict travel times, travel routes and vehicles which can be used.
How do I reinstate my driver’s license after Georgia drunk driving conviction and Administrative License Suspension?
If you have been convicted of your second drunk driving charge you may be eligible for a limited driving permit only after you have completed your 12 months administrative license suspension and you have installed an ignition interlock device.
The ignition interlock device is only installed after you have given the department proof that you have taken and completed a court-ordered drug or alcohol education program. At the completion of this program they will install the ignition interlock device.
After you have used the limited driving permit and the ignition interlock device for six months, it may be possible to have your driver’s license reinstated.
Steps for a driver’s administrative license reinstatement after a drunk driving conviction
- Completion of the Drunk driving alcohol and Drug Use Risk Reduction Program (if required by the court)
- Payment of a $210 fee ($200 if processed in person)
Information below is also offered on the Georgia Department of Transportation Website:
Drivers can also contact the Department Of Driver Services 678-413-8400, or toll-free 866-754-3687 (inside Georgia but outside Metro Atlanta Area). Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 7:00 am until 5:15 pm to assist with reinstatement questions.
Drivers can also submit a letter requesting reinstatement requirements to: Georgia Department of Driver Services, Post Office Box 80447, Conyers, Ga. 30013. This request must contain your name as it appears on your driver’s license, license number, date of birth, correct mailing address, and your signature.
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