Unless you live in the city or near public transportation it is difficult to do anything without your car. One of the biggest issues with DUI or drunk driving cases is the license suspension that comes with the criminal case. Most people need to drive to work and they are concerned with the license suspension. The amount of time your license is suspended depends on several factors.
1. Did you take a breathalyzer
After you are arrested you will be brought to a police station and offered the breathalyzer. If you refused to take a breathalyzer your license will be suspended for 180 days right away. You don’t get a chance to talk to a lawyer prior to making this decision. If you opt for a blood test instead which is your right it is considered a breathalyzer refusal. If you fail to produce a sufficient sample by not blowing into the machine enough it will be considered a refusal.
Here lies the biggest issue. The breathalyzer is a strong piece of evidence against you in court. From a strategic stand point you are much better off refusing a breathalyzer. Even though your license will be suspended for 180, you should refuse a breathalyzer unless you are completely confident that you will pass the test. If you win your DUI trial there are ways to try to reinstate your license prior to the 180 days are up.
2. Did you Fail a Breathalyzer
If you failed the breathalyzer test, your license will be suspended for 45 days. Many people choose to take the test and risk it because they don’t want to deal with the 180 days license suspension for a breathalyzer refusal. It is important to remember that .08 blood alcohol level doesn’t take much alcohol to reach. You don’t have to be drunk to be found guilty of a DUI.
3. Did the RMV revoke your license as an imminent threat?
The RMV may revoke your license right away even before you are charged with any crimes. We usually see imminent threat suspensions where there is a car accident or serious injuries connected to a case. The RMV will usually notify you to a right to a hearing. However, it is unlikely that the RMV will reinstate your license until your criminal case is over. If your license is revoked as an imminent threat, you will have to resolve your criminal case prior to getting your license back.
4. Have you been charged with other driving offenses along with the DUI?
If you have been charged with other charges along with the DUI it may lead to a longer license suspension. Some of the most common charges that are linked to DUI cases are leaving the scene of property damage, leaving the scene of personal injury, negligent operation, reckless operation, and operating to endanger to name a few. If you are convicted of these charges it could lead to a license suspension regardless of your DUI charge.
Every criminal case is unique and it really depends on the alleged facts and circumstances of your case. As a rule of thumb it is generally a good idea to refuse the breathalyzer and call a lawyer right away. The quickest way to getting your license and life back is getting good representation. If you have any questions call me for a free consultation at 781-343-1DUI (1384).