Can You Drive After A DUI Before Court Date?
No. You can’t drive after you’ve been charged with a DUI. Call Ascent Law LLC to discuss your situation right away.
There are many serious consequences to getting a DUI and one of the hardest things to deal with is losing your driving privileges. For most of us, driving is necessary, especially in Utah. Where public transportation is limited and when you have to commute to your work, being able to drive is essential. Your driver’s license will be suspended after a DUI but it may be for less time than you think. Your license will be suspended for as little as 1 year and up to several years, depending on the facts of your case and any prior DUI offenses you may have. If you are arrested for a DUI, the officer who arrested you will immediately confiscate your driver’s license. When your license is suspended, you should be issued a temporary license, good for 30 days from the issuance date. Along with this temporary license, you will receive an Order of Suspension, which serves as formal notice your license is suspended. After you are released from jail, get your car out of the towing lot and have this temporary license, you may drive again. Your license, along with a copy of the Order of Suspension you were issued, will be sent to the DMV along with the police report and any BAC tests you took. If for some reason you weren’t issued these at the time of arrest, you will be mailed both by the DMV. Unless you have that temporary license, however, all your driving privileges are suspended.
During these 30 days, you have the time to arrange for alternative transportation as well as contest the suspension if you choose. To contest the suspension, you must request an administrative hearing through the DMV within ten days of the issuance of the Order of Suspension. You can request the DMV to mail you a copy of the police report for your review. Regardless if you are contesting it or not, be very careful about driving during this period. If caught drinking and driving again, you will not be given another temporary license; your temporary license will be confiscated and you will be left with no driving privileges. You can request your license back from the DMV after the suspension period. You will also have to pay a $125 reissuance fee. Your suspension period begins after your temporary license expires. How long your license will be suspended is determined based off a few factors. If you are over 21, did not refuse the BAC test and if this is your first DUI, your suspension period will be at least four months. You are eligible to apply for a restricted license after 30 days of this period, which will allow driving to and from work and to and from your DUI education program. This is an application process and requires you pay a fee, file proof of financial responsibility and proof of enrollment in a DUI first offender program. If you are a repeat offender, and your last DUI was within the last ten years, your suspension period will be one year. If you are under 21, took a BAC test and were over the state limit of 0.01% for underage drivers, your suspension period will be one year. Keep in mind you may have other driving restrictions/requirements handed down from the court system, which operates independently from the DMV. If you have been ordered to install an Ignition Interlock Device, you may have to do so and file proof of the installation with the court before you can drive again. In Utah, you will automatically be ordered to install one in every car you own or drive. If you’ve been charged with a DUI and want to get back on the road as soon as possible, contact an experienced DUI defense attorney who can help you take the right steps towards driving again. And, as always, your driving privileges do not include the right to drive under the influence or drive with disregard for others’ safety. When back on the road driving after a DUI, follow the terms or conditions of driving you may have been given from the courts or the DMV. Violating your probation terms or driving without a valid license can have serious consequences and will keep you from driving even longer.
Here are some general procedural guidelines to address license suspension concerns:
• Initial 10-day Permit. When arrested, the cop probably took your license, giving you a DUI citation, which acts as a 10-day temporary driving permit. Your car may also be impounded for 10 days.
• General Suspension. After 10 days, a license may be suspended for six (6) months to one (1) year. A first-time DUI conviction carries a mandatory suspension of at least 180 days. However, a DUI arrest does not necessarily mean conviction.
• Formal Review Hearing (FRH). However, you may gain more driving time by challenging the suspension and filing for a FRH-within 10 days of the DUI citation. It is important to file within the 10-day time limit. Until the FRH, you may be granted four (4) to five (5) weeks of business purpose only (BPO) driving.
• No hearing or lost the FRH. If an offender does not file for or loses a FRH, then the six (6) months to one (1) year suspension begins immediately. Only after 30 to 90 days of the suspension, may the offender apply for a restricted, BPO license, upon completion of “DUI School” or other required substance abuse evaluation.
• Win the FRH. If you win the FRH, you may have your license reinstated without limitation.
• The Breath Test: Failure to take the breath test may cause your driver’s license to be suspended for longer periods of time, if you are later convicted of DUI. But, if you took the breath test and blew under the legal limit of .08 BAC, then you will not lose your driver’s license immediately. For additional information, see more on the breath test.
• Business Purpose Only (BPO) Driver’s License: Generally, Utah permits application for a hardship BPO license for commuting to work or school only. You may be granted a four (4) to five (5) week BPO license, while filing for a FRH. A first-time offender may also file for a BPO permit after losing an FRH after 30 to 90 days of suspension. For additional BPO information, see more on hardship licenses.
• Aggravating Factors: There are a number of “aggravating factors” that may result in a longer license suspension. Factors that may lengthen a DUI license suspension may include: causing an accident with property damage, personal injury, or death; having a minor present; or blowing an excessively high breath test.
• “DUI School” & evaluations. To apply for a BPO hardship license, expect to be required to successfully complete “DUI School” and other substance abuse evaluations. You may also be required to comply with recommendations, treatment, or other counseling as a result of any such evaluations before obtaining a BPO license.
• Second-time Offense is serious, and the stakes are high. A license may be suspended for at least five (5) years, if the conviction is within five (5) years of the first conviction. Driving to work or school may be the least of your concerns for a second, or subsequent, conviction, since you’ll likely be looking at imprisonment of at least ten (10) days up to one (1) year for a second conviction.
Your temporary driving permit allows you to drive in the interim between the date of your arrest and the date of your court hearing. In some cases, usually in extreme or felony DUI cases, you may not be issued a temporary driving permit. More serious DUI cases may have a higher bail as well. If you cannot afford it or cannot secure a bail bond, you will have to remain in jail until your hearing Using prescription, or other drugs, or drinking, and driving, requires two components – the consumption, and the act of driving. But being caught usually means that you had an accident, or a run in with the law for some traffic or other violation, no headlights, weaving, speeding, etc. The big issue for most people is whether or not there is an issue that repeatedly has caused you problems or taken priority over other areas of your life, including your career, your family, or your education.
These are what to do when you are released after being arrested for a DUI, in the following order:
• Gather all your paperwork;
• Find and take steps to obtain your vehicle;
• Write down everything you can remember about the 6 hours before your DUI, and what happened when you were stopped, and all facts, details, and timing, about what testing you were given, including field sobriety tests, breath, blood, or urine tests.
• Catch up on sleep if needed.
• Take a deep breath. The real work is about to begin, and you will want to be calm and collected and strategic about this.
• Contact our firm, or an attorney of your choice, to have the DMV hearing scheduled. We will do this for you free of charge and will do so via fax, and follow up with phone call so that it can be proven that the request was made within 10 days.
• If you choose not to have an attorney help you, that’s fine, but make sure you contact the DMV within 10 days of your arrest. The DMV is very strict on this time limit, so do not delay. Request a copy of all police reports and documents to be used at the hearing, and request a stay on suspension (this stops any driver’s license suspension and extends your temporary license).
• Conduct attorney interviews and have them review the police report with you once sent from the DMV to you.
• Begin to gather character reference letters for use in your case, and other mitigation evidence charity work, a resume or school transcript, volunteer work, special certifications or skills, or proof of alcohol or rehab program work.
• Make sure your attorney, or you, attend your court dates, and your DMV hearing. Many people have found themselves in bigger trouble by missing an important date.
Alleged offenders must attend a court hearing, or have an attorney appear for them, about 4-5 weeks after their arrest and release. If your paperwork has a court date on it, you must show up, or an attorney must appear for you, on your behalf.
Certain factors can allow the prosecutor to ask for additional penalties. Those include:
• Having an accident, with property damage or injury to another;
• Having a prior DUI;
• Being on probation for a DUI or any other offense;
• Having a child in the car with you (anyone under age 18 is a minor, under the law);
• Having a blood alcohol level at or above double the legal limit (0.16%);
• Allegations that you were speeding while DUI (at or above 30 mph above the speed limit while intoxicated);
• Refusing an evidentiary breath or blood test.
Tips to avoid a DWI or DUI
If you choose to drink, be sure to keep your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) low. Here are some tips for doing so.
• Keep in mind that typical drinks of beer, wine, and spirit have the same amount of pure alcohol. They are all the same to a breathalyzer.
• Remember that breathalyzers are not highly reliable. So keep your BAC far below the maximum legal limit. (This has additional advantages. It may prevent a crash, injury, or even save your life.)
• Use a personal alcohol breath tester. Just remember that it’s even less accurate than those used by the police. That’s another reason to stay well below the legal limit.
• Remember that your BAC will continue to rise after you stop drinking. Take that into consideration.
• Nibble on food or munchies during the time you’re drinking.
• If you’re at a gathering, delay having your first alcoholic drink.
• Pace your alcoholic drinks. No more than one every hour helps keep your BAC low.
• Have non-alcoholic drinks between alcoholic ones.
• Sip and savor your drinks. Don’t gulp them.
• Don’t play drinking games.
• Be wary of punches. And of drinks in unusual size or shape containers. It’s hard to know how much alcohol they contain. Thus, it’s hard to pace them.
• Even if your BAC is legal, you can still be charged with DWI/DUI! So avoid being pulled over. Keep your car in good working order. A bad tail light is an invitation to be stopped. Also obey all traffic laws. Signal when changing lanes; make no rolling stops, etc. And if pulled over, be polite.
• One foolproof ways to avoid a DWI or DUI is not to drink. Another is to use a Designated Driver.
DUI Attorney Free Consultation
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506