Having your driver’s license revoked (meaning your driving privileges have been removed for some period of time) after a DUI can be a source of significant hardship. Suddenly, getting to work or school becomes much more difficult, and if you’re looking for a job, not having a car can be a big problem, even if you have other means of transportation.
But how do you lose your driving privileges, and how do you get them back? Can you lose your license for simple traffic violations? When can you get your license back? If your license is revoked after a DUI, how are you supposed to get to court? Is there a difference between a suspended license and a revoked license? If you or a loved one is dealing with a license revocation in Arizona, these are probably only some of the questions you’re asking. The first thing you should do when your license has been revoked following a DUI is call an experienced Phoenix DUI attorney.
At the Belén Law Firm, we can guide you through the legal process of losing your driving privileges and fight for you to have them back. We can also help you navigate the complicated laws surrounding DUIs in Arizona and stick by your side until your case is resolved. For a free case evaluation, give our office a call at 602-715-0908 or complete our online intake form today.
Will You Have Your License Revoked Following a DUI in Arizona?
The short answer to this question is maybe. For certain driving offenses involving DUIs, you may face the removal of your driver’s license for some period of time. Driving offenses that will incur a revocation of your license include:
- Felonies committed with a motor vehicle, such as aggravated assault or vehicular homicide
- Your DUI involves drugs or other toxic substances
- Felony DUI, or aggravated DUI. In short, this means you got three DUIs in seven years, or your DUI arrest occurred with a minor in your vehicle.
- Two or more DUIs
- Two or more reckless driving convictions
- Discharge of a gun in a drive-by shooting
- A hit and run involving failure to stop or render aid to the victim
- Perjury to the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division regarding ownership of a vehicle
For a first offense of DUI with no other felonies or offenses involved, and with a blood alcohol concentration over .08 but below 0.149, you will likely only have your license suspended pending an administrative hearing with the MVD. We’ll talk more later about the difference between having your driving privilege suspended versus having it revoked, and exactly how that administrative hearing might go.
If you’ve had a DUI conviction or two before, or if your DUI arrest involves drugs or other serious driving offenses, you may be looking at the loss of your driver’s license. However, if your privilege to drive is wrongfully revoked, a lawyer can help you overturn the revocation. Additionally, a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer like Belén Olmedo Guerra can help you through the difficult process of appealing for a new driver’s license after yours is revoked.
Consequences for DUIs in Arizona
Before we go any further, let’s talk more generally about the consequences of a DUI in Arizona. These consequences differ depending not only on the number of previous offenses, if any, but also on the results of your BAC test administered by the arresting officer.
If your BAC is between .08 and .149, that is a standard DUI. If it is between .15 and .199, that is considered an Extreme DUI in Arizona. With a BAC of over .20, that is considered a Super Extreme DUI.
First DUI Offense
For a first DUI, you could incur fines, up to 10 days in jail, and a 90-day suspension of your driver’s license. The courts may also place a special ignition interlock device, or IID, into your vehicle once you have your license back. An ignition interlock device prevents your car from starting until you have passed a breath test. For a first-offense DUI in Arizona, this will usually be for a period of six months.
If your first offense is an Extreme DUI or a Super Extreme DUI (i.e. your BAC was very high), the potential penalties increase. In addition to the fines increasing, your potential jail time goes up to 30 days for an Extreme DUI and 45 for a Super Extreme DUI. Each still incurs a 90-day suspension of your license with an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle for a period of one year.
Second DUI Offense
Arizona’s repeat DUI laws are considered to be some of the harshest in the country. For a second DUI, you could face fines of up to $3000 with a minimum of 90 days in jail. The state can also revoke your driver’s license for up to one year.
For a second offense Extreme DUI, there is a minimum of 120 days in jail. 60 of these days must be served consecutively. Your fines will increase and your driving privilege can be revoked for up to one year. Similarly, for a second offense Super Extreme DUI, your jail time increases to 180 days, with 60 to be served consecutively. Your fines will go up as well and your license can be revoked for up to one year.
Third Offense DUI
A third DUI within seven years is considered a felony DUI in Arizona. You will serve a mandatory four-month sentence in jail, have your license revoked for one year, and have an IID placed on your car for two years once you get your license back.
How Many DUIs Before Your License is Permanently Revoked?
Like most things with the law, it depends.
If your first offense occurs with a minor in the car, if you are driving under the influence of illegal drugs, or if your DUI occurs in conjunction with another motor vehicle felony, the state can revoke your license. However, if your first offense is only a DUI, even if it is an Extreme DUI or a Super Extreme DUI, you will likely only incur a suspension.
Without the presence of other extenuating circumstances, your license will not be revoked unless you have committed two or more DUIs.
Terms for License Revocation
A revocation is the complete removal of your driving privileges and usually occurs as the result of a conviction in criminal court. In some cases, you may be able to obtain a restricted driver’s license with an IID installed in your vehicle. Speak to an attorney to determine if your DUI case qualifies you for a restricted license.
Once the revocation period is over, your license will remain revoked until an investigation into your driving record has occurred. You will likely also need to provide something called an SR-22, or proof of Future Financial Responsibility on your insurance policy. If you need an ignition interlock device on your car, you need to provide proof that it is functioning before you can be issued a new license.
Suspended License vs. Revoked License
We’ve talked a lot about license suspension versus revocation–now let’s discuss what the actual difference is between the two.
When your license is suspended, it is only a temporary removal of your privilege. You can complete the terms of your suspension, pay any court fees, provide proof of insurance, and get your license back. However, when your license has been revoked, you must apply for an entirely new license at the end of your revocation period.
But when does your license get suspended, and when does it get revoked?
What Happens To Your License During a DUI Arrest?
We’ve talked broadly about the consequences of a DUI, but let’s focus on what actually happens step-by-step when you are arrested for driving under the influence.
First, it’s important to know that a DUI in Arizona has two parts: administrative and criminal court. Both can involve some suspension or revocation of your license, and your administrative case will likely be resolved long before your criminal case is.
When you are pulled over under suspicion of driving under the influence, the police officer will likely ask you to undergo a breath, urine, or chemical test to determine your BAC. If you consent, and are over the legal limit, your license will incur an automatic suspension, even without a conviction. This is called an admin per se suspension. You can refuse the test, but this is unlikely to have an upside. When you refuse, it triggers an immediate one-year suspension. In Arizona, a warrant can usually be acquired right there, and a forcible blood test can occur. A suspension resulting from a refusal to test is called an implied consent suspension.
Once you have this administrative suspension, you have 15 days to make another choice: to challenge your license suspension with the motor vehicle department or to allow it to go into effect. If you do nothing, your suspension will go into effect 15 days later. If you choose to challenge your suspension, you will need to request a hearing with the Arizona MVD via written request–you can fax your MVD hearing request, email it, or deliver it directly. Requesting this MVD hearing stops the suspension from going into effect.
The hearing is a civil proceeding before an administrative law judge, meaning you can’t make any constitutional claims, such as for an unlawful stop. For the most part, the hearing will simply determine if you had actual physical control of the vehicle while under the influence. Implied consent hearings and admin per se hearings are generally similar, though implied consent hearings have a slightly broader scope for defense.
If you win the hearing, you will not incur any administrative suspension–however, you can still later be convicted of a DUI, triggering other suspensions and revocations as a result of criminal charges.
Penalties for Driving on Suspended License AZ
Driving on a suspended license in Arizona is a Class 1 misdemeanor. This means up to 180 days of jail, probation, and thousands of dollars in fines. The more lengthy your driving record, the more likely it is that a prosecutor will seek jail time for driving on a suspended license. So if you’ve incurred a DUI license suspension, it’s probably best to avoid driving.
Penalties for Driving on Revoked License AZ
Driving with a revoked license will incur similar penalties to driving on a suspended license–however, it may also lead to the MVD denying your petition for a new license once your revocation period is over.
Can I Get My License Back if it’s Been Revoked?
If you believe your driver’s license has been wrongfully revoked after a DUI conviction, speak to an experienced criminal attorney immediately.
Many times, however, if your driver’s license has been revoked, you will need to wait for the end of the revocation period to petition for a new one. It may be possible to acquire a restricted license in some cases.
Phoenix Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer
The time following a DUI arrest or conviction can be confusing and overwhelming for anyone involved. Laws surrounding driving under the influence are complex, not to mention the administrative laws that come into play when your license is suspended or revoked.
If you’re dealing with a DUI in the Phoenix area, call the Belén Law Firm. We have years of experience with DUI cases and are prepared to help you throughout the duration of your case. Give us a call or schedule a free case evaluation today.