May 03, 2019
Drivers License Restoration Part Two
Alcohol Related Suspensions and Revocations
A first time DUI arrest is a serious matter. But, a second, third or fourth DUI arrest is like night and day from the first DUI. In this blog we will discuss first time DUI arrests and dealing with the Department of Revenue. There are two sides to a DUI arrest. The DOR, or administrative side and the criminal aspect held in court. Hopefully, you will be “one and done” with DUI arrests after the first one. This blog will only deal with the Department of Revenue side of a DUI. The DOR side is exclusive from the criminal court side which will be another blog.
It is late out and you are leaving your friend’s place or a bar and you are stopped by the police. The officer has reason to believe you have been drinking and orders you out of the car. He performs the standardized field sobriety tests and at the conclusion of the tests, he makes the conclusion that you are too intoxicated to drive. He places you under arrest for DUI (also called DWI) and asks if you would take the breathalyzer. The mystical, magical yet terrorizing breathalyzer test! You’re friends have told you to never blow into the breathalyzer. The officer also tells you that if you don’t take the test, your DL will be revoked–not suspended– revoked for one (1) year. Your friends forgot to tell you about that aspect of a refusal. You can ask to speak with a lawyer. You have 20 minutes to contact an attorney. You talked to your attorney. But, the attorney is not there looking at the machine or the nice police officer who just threatened to revoke your license for a year. You close your eyes and blow. The machine indicates that you tested .120. Not good.
Based on your test score, the officer fills out a form and hands it to you telling you that in 15 days from the date you just tested your drivers license will be suspended. It also tells you how to request an administrative hearing. Assuming you lose the hearing, the DOR sends you a nasty letter telling you that effective on such and such date you license will be suspended for 90 days. It could be longer. You have 90 days to complete SATOP, obtain SR-22 insurance and pay a reinstatement fee.
An attorney can conduct the administrative hearing on your behalf. IF successful, there is no 90 days suspension. If unsuccessful, the attorney can advise you about appealing the decision.
You had and lost the hearing and decided not to appeal the decision. Now the suspension period starts. The first 30 days are referred to as the “hard” 30. No driving. No exceptions. Installing an ignition interlock device can avoid the “hard” 30 days. After the 30 days, comes the 60 days of restricted driving privilege. You have 90 days to complete SATOP, obtain SR-22 insurance and pay a reinstatement. If you complete all three of those tasks, you will be fully reinstated. If you have not, on day 91, you will suspended.
That’s the simple side of an administrative suspension. Now let’s go back to that night. The attorney is not there looking at the machine or the nice police officer who just threatened to revoke your license for a year. You close your eyes and say, “I refuse to take the breath test.” The officer fills out a form and hands it to you telling you that in 15 days from the date you just refused your drivers license will be revoked. You have 15 days to hire an attorney who will file a motion staying the revocation and demanding an evidentiary hearing in front of a real judge, not a DOR officer. If you lose the evidentiary hearing, your license might be revoked for one (1) year, but the attorney can counsel you on how to obtain a limited driving privilege. Obtaining and maintaining a limited driving privilege can be expensive.
As you have noticed, the DOR is only interested in interrupting your driving privilege. The administrative aspect of your DUI arrest is over. You are now fully reinstated or driving on a limited driving privilege. The DOR does not fine you or put you in jail. That’s for the prosecutor and judge to do on the criminal side of the DUI arrest and will be discussed in a later blog.
Miller & Terry Attorneys at Law are experienced criminal defense lawyers with experience in Driver License Restoration cases in Missouri and Kansas. We will help protect you and your constitutional rights. Contact us today on this website or at 816-524.8718 for a free consultation.