It can be hard to remember that driving is a privilege, not a right. Once you get your driver’s licenses at 16 or 17-years-old, you never look back. You hop behind the wheel whenever you need to get to the store, go to work, or visit a friend on the other side of the country. Your car is your freedom and livelihood. You cannot imagine your life without it – until you have to.
When you are pulled over for driving under the influence or operating a vehicle while intoxicated (DUI/OWI), one of the most common consequences is losing the privilege to drive. Your license can be taken away for a number of reasons related to a DUI and without fast action by a Detroit OWI lawyer, you may not get it back as soon as possible. To learn more about avoiding a DUI license suspension, contact Davis Law Group at (313) 818-3238.
License Suspension for Failing to Consent to a BAC Test
Michigan has an implied consent law, which means that by having a driver’s license you agree to submit to a chemical test if you are pulled over under suspicion of DUI/OWI. When you are pulled over, you are required to submit to a breath test. If you are arrested, you may be asked to undergo a blood or breath test. If you refuse to submit to any of these exams to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC), you driver’s license will be immediately revoked for at least one year.
To fight this administrative license suspension, you need to seek a suspension hearing within 14 days. This is a very quick turnaround, which is why it is crucial to contact a Detroit DUI lawyer as quickly as possible after an arrest. You may have proof that you did not fail to submit to a necessary BAC test and that the license suspension is improper.
License Suspension Upon Conviction
If you are convicted of a DUI/OWI, you are likely going to lose your license for a period of time. The length of the suspension will depend on your criminal history and BAC at the time of your arrest. For a first conviction with a BAC between .08 and .17 percent, you may only get a suspension of six months. You may even be eligible for a restricted license after 30 days. However, if you have a previous DUI/OWI conviction or you had a BAC above .17 percent at the time of your arrest, the minimum license suspension is one year. You may be eligible for a restricted license after 45 days. If you have multiple previous DUI/OWI convictions within the previous seven years, then your license could be revoked for one, five, or seven years.
Obtaining a Restricted License
One of the most common ways to avoid a harsh license suspension is to apply for a restricted license. This type of license allows you to drive to certain places at certain times. Usually, they are granted so you can get to and from work, school, medical appointments, counseling, rehabilitation, and other essential duties or appointments. Your driving privileges on a restricted license can be limited to certain days or certain times of days. For instance, you may not be allowed to drive at night.
To obtain a restricted driver’s license, you must petition the court after a minimum hard suspension period. During a hearing, you will need to be able to show that a restricted license is necessary for you to be able to take care of yourself and your family.
You May be Required to Install an Ignition Interlock Device
One of the ways you can convince a judge to grant you a restricted driver’s license is to agree to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. If you are a habitual offender and you are getting your driver’s license reinstated, this may be required by law. An IID requires you to blow into the machine and confirm your zero BAC before you can turn on your car and drive. You will have to pay for the installation, calibration, and maintenance for the duration that it is in your car. However, this cost is nothing in comparison to the freedom of driving.
Charged with a DUI? Call a Chicago DUI Lawyer Today
If you were pulled over for drunk driving and you are not sure what is going to happen to your license, call us at Davis Law Group today. We can review your situation, including whether you need to ask for a hearing right away or a restricted driver’s license. Call us today at (313) 818-3238.