If My Driver’s License was Taken on the Night of My Arrest, Does that Mean I Can’t Drive?
Submitting a Breath Sample .08 or Higher
If your license was seized and suspended for submitting a breath sample of .08 or above, you will be able to drive for a period of ten days using the DUI citation issued to you on the night of your arrest (assuming that your driver’s license was valid prior to your DUI arrest). The DUI ticket itself acts as your full license to drive during this ten day period. To confirm that you can lawfully drive, you should look at the bottom of the DUI ticket. There, you will find a check box that says “Eligible for Permit.” This box must be checked “yes” for you to lawfully drive.
Unless you hire a DUI lawyer and take action with respect to your driver’s license within the first ten days, you will not be eligible to drive whatsoever for a period of 30 days, 90 days, 6 months, 12 months or 18 months, depending on the circumstances of your case and your prior record of arrests for DUI. If you provided a breath sample that was at a level above a .08 and have one or less prior DUI convictions, your failure to take action with respect to your driver’s license within ten (10) calendar days will result in a period of thirty (30) days during which you cannot drive at all, for any reason. In this scenario, after sitting out thirty days of no driving, you would be eligible to apply for a hardship license on the 41st day from your arrest.
Refusal to Submit Breath Sample
If your license was taken from you because you refused to submit a breath sample, you will be able to use the DUI citation to drive for 10 days (assuming that your driver’s license was valid at the time of your DUI). After the tenth day from the date of your arrest, unless you hire a attorney to request a Formal DHSMV Review Hearing, you must then cease all driving for a period of 90 days. Under this scenario,assuming that you have one or less prior DUI convictions AND your license has never previously been suspended for a refusal to submit to breath, urine or blood testing, you will be eligible to apply for a hardship license on the 101st day from the date of your arrest.
If you are a driver that has more than one prior DUI conviction, or, if you are a driver whose license was previously suspended for a refusal to submit to chemical testing and are now facing a second “refusal” suspension, the DHSMV Formal Administrative Review process is an “all or nothing” proposition. In other words, if you fail to request a DHSMV Formal Administrative Review hearing within the first ten days, you will not be eligible for a hardship license for a period of at least six months, and as much as eighteen months.