How Can I Keep My License Just for Work after a DUI Charge?

Restricted Drivers License

Being charged with DUI puts the driver license at risk of suspension. Either the state department of motor vehicles or the court can suspend the license for a lengthy period of time. DUI laws in many states permit 90-day suspension periods, one year for a second offense, and as long as three years for a third DUI conviction. Individuals who rely on their vehicles for work can find their lives turned upside down.

DUI License Suspension

Driver license suspension is one of several penalties for DUI, each of which varies by state. Even if an individual is not found guilty, refusing to submit to a urine, breath, or blood test may be enough reason to suspend the driver license. It can be difficult to get the license back without a good lawyer who understands how the legal system operates in DUI cases.

An individual driving a commercial vehicle at the time of a DUI arrest or someone who violates zero tolerance DUI laws typically faces a longer license suspension period. Zero tolerance laws punish underage drivers with very low blood-alcohol content or who are transporting alcohol. Enhanced penalty DUI laws, which pertain to the highest blood-alcohol levels, also feature longer suspension periods.

Restricted License

Some states offer relief to DUI offenders who rely on their vehicles for work. Under certain circumstances, state law may allow an individual to obtain a restricted driver license. California offers this option to a first-time offender following a one-month license suspension. The restricted license allows the individual to drive to and from work for approximately four to five months or longer. In exchange, the offender must participate in an alcohol class, pay a license reissue fee, and provide proof of auto insurance.

Repeat DUI offenders do not have it so easy in many states, California included. A second California DUI conviction within ten years of the first results in a one-year driver license suspension without eligibility for a restricted license. Three DUI convictions within ten years lead to a three-year license suspension. Upon agreeing to install an ignition interlock device and completing an 18-month program, the driver may qualify for a restricted license.

Getting a good attorney can avoid the hassle of driver license suspension and the need for a restricted license due to DUI conviction. Complete the short online form provided by to find a DUI lawyer in your state. After a case review, this attorney will recommend how to proceed in order to achieve the best outcome.

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