Suspension of the driver license can be one of the most painful DUI penalties. Many people rely on their cars to get them to and from work, errands, and activities. Parents who lose their driver licenses due to DUI charges may be unable to transport their children to and from school. Though the license may be suspended temporarily, it can feel like a lifetime.
Automatic DUI license suspension
There are many misunderstandings when it comes to DUI charges. According to the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause, legal penalties are typically not imposed until an individual is sentenced following appropriate legal proceedings. This usually means that notice must be given and a hearing must take place. However, this does not always apply to a DUI charge.
In most states, an individual arrested for DUI is subject to Administrative License Suspension Laws. These laws, which vary by state, usually require automatic confiscation and suspension of the driver license without a hearing during certain situations. Refusing to take a breath, urine, or blood test after being stopped for suspected DUI is one of these situations. Even if the individual is not impaired, refusing to submit to this testing may result in automatic suspension of the driver license.
Even DUI suspects who submit to chemical testing are not in the clear. If test results reveal a blood-alcohol content of at least 0.08 percent or the presence of particular drugs, most state laws authorize automatic driver license suspension. Depending on the state, the license may be suspended for up to several years.
License suspension following a hearing
In many states, DUI sentencing includes suspension of the driver license even if the individual is a first-time offender. The nature of the DUI offense and the jurisdiction in which the situation occurred determine the duration of the suspension. Many states, including Pennsylvania, impose increasing sentences based on the number of DUI offenses. In Pennsylvania, a first offense includes a one-year license suspension, with 18-month suspensions for both second and third offenses.
Individuals charged with DUI who want to prevent driver license suspension should consult with an attorney recommended by DUIRights.com. They will learn whether their rights were violated during a DUI arrest and, if so, how to fight the charges with help from an experienced lawyer. Quick action is usually the key to preventing license suspension following a DUI arrest so request a free DUI arrest evaluation today.