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What Happens After a Drunk Driving Arrest?
One of the DUI consequences that most people forget about is dealing with the DMV. After your arrest, your driver’s license will be immediately suspended. Since the DMV is separate from the legal court system, they do not have to wait for a conviction before suspending your driver’s license.
Once your driver’s license is suspended, the officer will give you a temporary permit. The permit is valid between 30 – 45 days from the day of your arrest. You are given a permit so that you can drive to get home and seek legal counsel.
If you believe that you were wrongly arrested, you may be able to reinstate your driver’s license. To do this you will need to schedule an administrative hearing with the DMV to plead your case.
DMV Administrative Hearing
At this hearing, the burden of proof will be on the DMV. The DMV will look at the results of your chemical test, notes from the police officers, eye witnesses etc, to determine if your driver’s license should be reinstated.
The DMV will look to answer the following questions:
- Was there reasonable cause for the officer to pull you over?
- Did you refuse to take the chemical test (breath, blood, urine)?
- Were you aware of the consequences by refusing to take the test?
- Did you fail the chemical test?
If they can answer “Yes” to any of the above questions, chances are that you won’t be able to avoid getting your driver’s license suspended.
How is the DMV hearing different than a Court Trial?
A DMV hearing is an administrative process, NOT a legal process. The purpose of a DMV hearing is to focus strictly on your driving privileges and the circumstances around your arrest. The purpose of a court trial is to determine whether you are innocent or guilty of breaking the law.
The two are completely independent and have no bearing on each other.
For example, your driver’s license would still be suspended even if the courts reduced your DUI criminal act reckless driving.
In addition, you are not required to attend a DMV administrative hearing but will be required to attend your court dates.
If you are convicted, one of the DUI consequences you will have to face is increased car insurance rates. But before you can even even pay for your insurance, the DMV will require you purchase a special type of insurance form from your provider.
Getting Your Driver’s License Back
In order for you to get your driver’s license back, the courts will require you to attend an alcohol treatment program. Attending the treatment program will show the courts that you are responsible enough to drive again. Once you graduate from the DUI school, your driver’s license will be reinstated.