If You Want To Keep Your Driving Privileges, You Need An Experienced DUI Lawyer
If doing your job or living your life depends on your ability to drive legally, you’ll want to avoid license suspension after a DUI. Colorado drunk driving laws require immediate suspension after a drunk driving arrest or if you refuse a blood, breath, or alcohol test after being pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence.
But an automatic suspension does not mean that you are automatically out of luck and off the road indefinitely. A skilled Colorado Springs DUI defense lawyer can help you avoid license suspension after a DUI so you can get back behind the wheel and back to your life.
Automatic License Suspension After A DUI In Colorado
You will face automatic license suspension after a DUI arrest. The length of that suspension depends on whether this is your first DUI charge or a second or subsequent offense. Your first DUI offense will result in a nine-month license suspension; the second in a one-year suspension; and if this offense is your third and subsequent DUI, you are looking at a license suspension of two years.
You will also lose your driving privileges if you refuse a chemical test after CSPD pulls you over for suspicion of drunk driving. Colorado’s Express Consent Law requires that every driver consents to a chemical test if a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe the driver is under the influence. A refusal to cooperate with the officer’s request for chemical testing during the investigation of DUI will result in a one-year revocation for a first offense DUI, two-year revocation for a second offense, and a three-year revocation after a third or subsequent violation.
What Happens After A License Suspension After A DUI?
While a police officer may be the one to pull you over, request that you submit to a test, and ultimately arrest you, it is the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that invoke license suspension after a DUI. And it is the DMV that can restore your driving privileges after a DUI charge while your criminal case remains pending.
If you submitted to a breath test or refused a chemical test, the arresting officer likely gave you a Notice of Express Consent Affidavit and a Notice of Revocation advising you that you have seven days from the date of your arrest to request a license reinstatement hearing. If you do not do so, the DMV will revoke your license on the eighth day after your arrest.
If you provided a blood sample that ultimately tests higher than the legal limit, the arresting officer will file the Notice of Express Consent Affidavit with the DMV. The DMV will then send a letter notifying you of the blood test results and advising you that you have ten days from the date on the letter to request a hearing. The DMV will revoke your driver’s license on the 11th day after the date on the DMV’s letter if you don’t request a hearing.
How Your License Suspension Defense Attorney Can Help You At The DMV Hearing
The DMV is required to hold a license reinstatement hearing within 60 days of your request for the hearing. You will be able to continue to drive during this time. At the hearing, an administrative hearing officer will decide whether to lift your license suspension after a DUI. This is a crucial juncture in your DUI ordeal and hiring a criminal attorney to represent you can make all the difference between a license suspension that keeps you off the road for months or years and avoiding the suspension altogether.
At the hearing, your defense attorney can argue against having your license suspended. They can present evidence and testimony, including from the arresting officer, that you were not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or that the officer made mistakes during the traffic stop and testing process that does not support a decision by the DMV to suspend your driver’s license.
If you win your DMV hearing, you will still be able to drive legally. If not, the DMV will suspend your licenses for the periods set forth above. Either way, the DMV hearing provides you and your attorney with a valuable opportunity to challenge the charges against you. It can even serve as a “dry run” for your criminal DUI case, putting you in a better position to avoid conviction and the further restrictions on your license and other consequences that follow.
Don’t Blow Your Chance to Avoid License Suspension After A DUI
If you have been charged with a DUI in El Paso or Teller Counties, time is definitely not on your side. As noted above, you only have 7 days after your DUI arrest to request a hearing with the DMV that can keep you on the road. Because of that, you need to speak to a criminal defense lawyer in Colorado Springs as soon as possible after your arrest.