The typical adult driver in Tucson with a clean driving record can expect that a simple DUI prosecution will result in three specific consequences for his or her driver’s license.
- Drivers License Suspension
- An Ignition Interlock Device
- Traffic Survival School
Drivers License Suspension
Your driver’s license may be suspended. A good DUI attorney, however, knows how to preserve his client’s right to drive for as long as possible, and to the greatest extent possible.
If DUI breath testing is used, on the night of the DUI incident, Tucson police will give the driver a pink piece of paper with a yellow copy. The police, and the papers, will explain that, after a 15-day waiting period, the driver’s license will be suspended, and the suspension will last 90 days. Left unchallenged, such suspension automatically goes into effect at the end of the 15-day waiting period. However, if challenged immediately, as Michael Harwin almost always advises, any suspension will be delayed for several months. If the police drew blood, however, typically the driver will receive a letter of suspension only after blood testing is complete, which typically occurs several months after the DUI incident. Naturally, it is important to challenge the suspension of Arizona’s Driving License immediately as well.
Asking for an MVD Hearing
Unless you immediately ask for a “hearing”, the license suspension will automatically take place after 15 days. This is not a hearing in the court where your criminal case will be, but in a special MVD court in a completely different location. It’s pretty easy to ask for the hearing; just read the fine print on the back of the pink form the police gave you.
The good news is that if you ask for the hearing right away (within 15 days of your ticket), your license will not be suspended at all until you have the hearing, which may be three, four or five months away. So you can drive until then, as long as you have an otherwise valid driver’s license.
Applying for a Restricted License
Even if your license is suspended, you can actually get a restricted license back after 30 days, so long as you complete an “alcohol screening.” This allows you to drive to and from work, school, and medical appointments. To be eligible for such restricted 60-day license, the DUI arrestee must complete an alcohol screening by an authorized MVD provider. We usually have our clients plan for the 30 day suspension eventually, but put it off for a few months at least, so it can be done in whole or in part over a vacation, or at the least inconvenient time, and can be planned for.
The Ignition Interlock Device
Second, upon a first conviction for DUI in Arizona all persons are required to install an interlock ignition device for one year. For many, especially professionals who need to drive at work, this is perhaps the most onerous of the DUI-related consequences. In certain cases, MVD may remove the device in six months, for others the full year.
Traffic Survival School
Third, because DUI offense carry eight points, MVD often requires that the DUI motorist attend Traffic Survival School in addition to other sanctions that may be imposed.
Drivers Licenses in Special Cases
Out-of-state drivers should be aware that pursuant to the Interstate Motor Vehicle Compact Arizona MVD may share information with the licensing state. This often results in the licensing state issuing their own suspension order in addition to Arizona’s.
Holders of commercial drivers licenses, especially those who use them on a daily basis for work, have special issues as well. A conviction for DUI in Arizona results in loss of the CDL for one year. This may often end the career of a driver. Additionally, Code of Federal Regulations for Common Carriers imposes additional penalties.
In Tucson Arizona, repetitive DUI offenders and persons prosecuted for felony DUI face a range of heavy sanctions. A person convicted of 2 ordinary DUIs within a 7-year period will have his or her license revoked for one year. In order to obtain a new license he will have to submit to a medical exam and formally reapply. Tucson Drivers facing felony DUI-related charges face suspensions and revocations of up to three years.
DUI & Commercial Drivers Licenses
For commercial drivers license holders, you are in trouble. The law provides that if convicted of any DUI, you will be disqualified for one year from having a CDL. As a practical matter, the risk management people at most larger companies won’t let a CDL holder drive once they learn that the person has been arrested for DUI. Your employer, like MVD, won’t likely wait for your conviction to take action.