License Suspension for DUI
By: Mike Stetzer
If know someone that has received a DUI conviction, there is a strong likelihood that he or she had their driver's license suspended. Every state in the US has imposed mandatory penalties for DUI and a driver's license suspension may be one of the most common penalties.
Typically, a first-time drunk driving conviction will result in a DUI license suspension of between 30 days and a year.
In Kentucky, for example, the administrative license suspension for a first-time DUI offender is 30 days, while the driver's license suspension period for a first-time offense in the state of Pennsylvania is an entire year.
Many states also suspend a driver's license in the event you refuse a breath test during a traffic stop. These suspensions are typically around one year in length.
If you've been charged with drunk driving and want to know your options for protecting your license, speak with a local DUI lawyer. For a free case evaluation with a drunk driving criminal defense attorney near you, simply complete the free form on this page and we'll connect you right away.
State DUI License Suspension Laws
There is one DUI law that is sure to be the same from state to state in the U.S., and that is the .08 percent blood alcohol content limit for driving a motor vehicle.
This figure was arrived at over time as scientific evidence for driver impairment became more conclusive, and each state adopted the .08 BAC limit for their communities.
The laws that surround drunk driving do, however, vary from one state to the next, including driver's license suspensions for a DUI conviction. Each state has its own mandatory DUI driver's license suspension lengths, and escalating penalties for new DUI convictions that come within a given time period.
In the Kentucky example mentioned above, a first-time offender can anticipate a 30-day mandatory license suspension, while a third-time offender will face a 2-year driver's license suspension. In the Pennsylvania example mentioned above, the license suspension period is the same, 1 year long, for first, second and third DUI convictions.
You should keep in mind that these penalties may change depending on the circumstances in your case. Often, the length of suspensions listed are minimums, and, depending on your record and the details of your charges, they may be increased.
Are Suspensions Mandatory?
The length of driver's license suspension varies across states; however, there is a common theme: In most cases, the license suspension is mandatory for a DUI conviction or breath test refusal.
These suspensions are typically carried out independent of the courts. Instead, the department of motor vehicles takes over and implements the suspension. The court will work in conjunction with the other departments to ensure it is carried out. If you are found to violate a suspension, the court may step in again and add additional penalties.
If you have a commercial driver's license then you may face additional suspensions or see it revoked entirely if you are convicted of drunk driving.
But just because you are charged with drunk driving doesn't mean you will lose your license. There are steps you may take to protect your license and defend yourself.
For a free case evaluation with a local DUI lawyer simply complete the free form on this page. We'll connect you right away so you may take steps to keep your license.
Laws may have changed since our last update. This is for informational purposes and is not legal advice. Speak to a local DUI attorney for legal advice about your particular situation.