Drunk driving allegations can threaten to reshape your life as you know it. It might lead to jail time, financial penalties, and a criminal record that can cause you to lose your employment and make it challenging to find another job. Yet, one aspect of drunk driving charges that many people are concerned about is driver’s license suspension. This makes sense. After all, losing your license can make it even more difficult to get to work, visit your kids, or take care of an elderly loved one.
How long is a driver’s license suspended after a DUI conviction?
The answer to this question depends on the circumstances and the specific offense that you’ve been accused of committing. Here is a summary breakdown, though, that we hope you’ll find useful:
- Refusal to comply with implied consent: Under the law, you’re required to provide a breath or blood sample for alcohol testing purposes. If you refuse to comply with that law by refusing to provide a sample, then your driver’s license may be suspended for up to two years depending on whether the refusal is a first offense or a subsequent one.
- First DUI conviction: Your first drunk driving conviction is likely going to result in your license being suspended for a full year. You may be able to get a restricted license during that period, which will make your life a little easier. However, this may mean that you’ll need to install an ignition interlock device.
- Second DUI conviction: Your driver’s license is going to be suspended for two years if you’re convicted of DUI for a second time. Again, you might be able to obtain a restricted license at some point during your suspension.
- Third DUI conviction: If you’re convicted of a third DUI offense, then your license is probably going to be suspended for six years, which is a significant amount of time.
- Subsequent convictions: Any drunk driving conviction beyond your third one will probably result in eight years of license suspension.
There are other drunk driving offenses that can lead to license suspension, such as vehicular assault when you cause an injurious accident while under the influence. So, if you’re facing alcohol-related criminal charges, then you’ll want to make sure that you understand the ramifications of conviction before you agree to any sort of plea deal.
Getting your license back
Your license isn’t automatically reinstated once your suspension is over. To have your license reinstated, you’ll have to pay a number of fees and apply for a license. Although that may seem relatively minor, it’s just more hoops that you’ll have to jump through to ensure that your drunk driving conviction doesn’t haunt you any longer than it should.
Protecting your interests as fully as possible when accused of drunk driving
Even though the possibility of driver’s license suspension might leave you feeling stressed, it only makes up a small part of the penalties that you may be facing if you’re convicted. That’s why before agreeing to anything that the prosecution pushes your way you need to understand the law, how it applies to your set of facts, and how the ramifications of conviction are going to affect your life.
Once you’ve done that, you can consider whether fighting drunk driving charges is in your best interests. It very well may be, or it may not. It depends on your situation, how much risk you’re willing to take, what the prosecution is offering you, and what the evidence shows. But if you want to get another set of eyes on your case and some assistance in developing the best legal arguments possible, then you might want to work through your case with the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.