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How a DUI affects a driver’s license

You probably rely on your car for many things. It is your means of getting to work, taking kids to school and activities, and shopping for the family. When it comes to a DUI, many factors could get your license suspended or revoked. Here are some questions you may have about the status of your license after a DUI:

What’s the difference between suspension and revocation?

Suspension means you temporarily lose your license for a period of time. Revocation is a permanent loss of driving rights unless you appeal to have it reinstated. Often, a DUI will only cause a suspension, unless you have had other DUI convictions in the past or there are extreme circumstances, such as death caused due to drunk driving.

How does a license get suspended or revoked?

In situations involving drinking and driving, your license could be taken away for a number of reasons. Refusing a breath test is one such reason. If an officer pulls you over and asks you to submit a breath test, he or she has the right to take your license if you do not comply. You could still face a DUI conviction if you refuse, which may include an even longer suspension period.

You may also lose it if your BAC is over the legal limit while you are driving or if you gather too many points on your record from past violations.

What do I do if my license is taken?

You can request a hearing to get your license back. It is very important to consult a criminal defense attorney before your hearing. Going in unprepared will only decrease your chances of getting your license back. There are three ways your hearing could go: you are denied your license, you are given full driving rights back, or you are given a restricted permit.

Getting your license back is a bit harder if it was revoked. There is a wait period before you can request a hearing, which is one year if this is your first DUI offense.

What is a restricted permit?

A restricted permit lets you drive to certain places if you can prove it is necessary. The permit cannot be used freely like a normal license but it can help you maintain the life and schedule you had before. Usually it allows you to drive to work, rehabilitative classes and/or drive your kids to school.

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