Being arrested for DUI can be a traumatic experience, one whose impact goes far beyond the courtroom. It can affect nearly every aspect of your life, from how you get to work to how you are viewed by friends and family. At Jeff GOULD Law, we know being arrested for driving under the influence can seriously threaten one’s freedom or future. If you have been convicted of a DUI, chances are you’ve had your driver’s license taken away. That means you’ll likely need your driver’s license back as soon as possible. After all, you still need to drive to work, make it to your appointed court times, and fulfill other responsibilities. Before you panic about your driver’s license suspension, remember that while DUI charges can be a tricky thing to navigate, it can be done. However, the first thing you need to understand are time limits.
If you have been arrested for DUI or DWI in the Tucson area, you’ll need to act quickly to protect your driver’s license. In the state of Arizona, you only have 15 days (online and with clear small print instructions as stated on any “Admin Per Se” Police Agency Affidavit) to request an ADOT/MVD Executive Hearing. Be aware that a DUI Arrest may often involve two separate processes: 1) There is the Criminal DUI matter that involves your US Constitutional Rights and Freedoms; and 2) A separate ADOT/MVD Administrative, discretionary process dealing with the separate Privilege of Driving (Driving privileges are NOT a constitutional right).
If you are given an “Admin Per Se” citation in your DUI Arrest paperwork, you must request, in writing/online, an ADOT/MVD separate Executive Hearing (the instructions and your rights/responsibilities are set forth in that document). If you fail to timely request the ADOT/MVD Executive Hearing, your driving privileges will be suspended after 15 days from the date of arrest.
How Long Will the License Suspension Last?
After you’ve been stopped for a DUI, there are two reasons your driver’s license could be suspended. The first one is having a blood alcohol content (BAC) that exceeds the legal limit of .08%. The second reason would be refusing to submit to chemical testing (blood – Implied Consent Violations). Here in Arizona, both situations would trigger an automatic license suspension, but the periods of suspension will vary.
Refusing to submit to a blood test (Implied Consent Violations):
- First offense: one-year driver’s license suspension
- Second offense: two-year driver’s license suspension
- Third offense: two-year driver’s license suspension
Driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater:
- First offense: 90-day license suspension
- Second offense: one-year license suspension
- Third offense: three-year license suspension
Can an Officer Take My License During a DUI Arrest?
Under Arizona law, if an officer has reasonable suspicion and probable cause to believe that you are guilty of drunk driving, they have the right to confiscate your license on the spot. If that happens, your license would be subject to an automatic 90-day suspension, even though you have not been convicted. Driving is viewed as a privilege, not a right. This means that the government can take this privilege away as they see fit.
Fighting to Restore Your Driving Privileges
Was your license confiscated during a DUI arrest? You are not without options. Those with suspended licenses can get permits to travel to and from work. Licenses can be reinstated, and wrongful suspensions can be challenged. After your license has been seized, you have 15 days to contest the suspension with the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) of the Arizona Department of Transportation. This opens a civil case that is separate from your criminal trial. During your hearing, you will need to establish that some legal insufficiency or rights violation has rendered the suspension invalid.
Issues that could be raised at your MVD Executive Administrative hearing include:
- Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) did not exceed .08%
- The law enforcement officer did not have probable cause to stop you
- You did not actually refuse to submit to a breath or blood test
- You were not informed that a refusal would have consequences
Contact Us for Your Free Consultation
At Jeff GOULD Law, we are the Attorney in Your Corner, and we look at the whole picture, not just your charges. If your driver’s license has been suspended, it is important to act quickly. You need to seek an attorney’s advice promptly before you get into trouble for driving without a license. Depending on why the suspension happened, there are several actions that can be taken to help restore your driving privileges. Most often, ADOT/MVD matters can be handled without legal representation, at your discretion. Our law firm generally only handles the actual Criminal Court Misdemeanor representation for your DUI to protect your rights and freedoms. We are here to help you to find the best resolution possible. We have the in-depth knowledge necessary to protect your rights no matter how serious the situation.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this blog/site is NOT, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. It is for general informational use only. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Further, this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.