Many consequences flow from a DUI arrest. In addition to facing a criminal record and higher insurance rates, DUI recipients also face the prospect of suspended drivers’ licenses. Having your license suspended can seriously impact your ability to engage in your day-to-day activities. While drivers’ license suspensions are automatic after DUI arrests in Louisana, it is possible to get your license reinstated after your arrest in an administrative DMV DUI hearing at the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV).
Drivers’ License Suspension is Automatic After a DUI in Louisiana
Arrests for DUI in Louisiana come with an automatic suspension of the subject’s driver’s license. Once you are arrested for a DUI, the arresting officer will confiscate your license and issue you a temporary license that is valid for 30 days. The officer will then submit your driver’s license along with the evidence he or she has collected against you (e.g., the results of your breathalyzer or field sobriety test), to the (OMV). From that point, you have 15 days to request an administrative hearing with the OMV to determine whether, and for how long, your license will be suspended. The length of time that your license will be suspended depends upon your age, how far over the legal limit your blood alcohol content (BAC) was, whether you have ever been convicted of a DUI in the past and whether you submitted to a breathalyzer test. The general suspension periods are as follows:
First offense: Up to 90 days
Second offense: Up to one year
Third offense: Two years
Fourth offense: Two years
Certain conditions can lengthen these suspension periods. For example, if you refuse a breathalyzer test upon your first offense, your license will be suspended for 180, rather than 90, days. Your license will also be suspended for 180 days for a first offense if you are under the age of 21.
How to Reinstate Your License
Your chance to reinstate your license arises at your administrative hearing at the OMV. At this hearing, the hearing officer will examine the evidence against you submitted by the arresting officer, as well as evidence that you and your attorney submit in your defense. After reviewing all of the evidence, the hearing officer will make his or her determination. If your license is reinstated, you will have to comply with all of the court’s requirements, such as paying a reinstatement fee, submitting proof that you are covered by auto insurance, and installing an ignition interlock device. If the suspension is upheld, you still may be able to preserve some of your driving privileges by applying for a hardship license that allows you to drive to and from work, school, and other locations.
Don’t Face a DMV DUI Hearing Alone
While you are not required to hire an attorney for your hearing, you can significantly increase your chances of getting your license reinstated by doing so. For more information about drivers’ license suspensions, reinstatements, and DMV DUI hearings, please contact a New Orleans DUI lawyer at Bloom Legal by using our online form or calling us at 504-599-9997.