How to Cope with Losing Your License After a DUI

Categories: DUI Defense

Losing my license after a DUI.

Seeking Advice from an Aggressive Colorado DUI Defense Lawyer Can Help Ease a Stressful Situation

DUI laws run counter to many other criminal statutes. In Colorado, you can have a drink and drive legally. But you run the risk of committing a crime if you drive under the influence or drive with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or greater or drive while abilities impaired with a blood alcohol content of 0.05% or greater. Knowing where the line is between lawful and criminal behavior under Colorado’s DUI statute is difficult. That’s why so many people who have no criminal history whatsoever can easily pick up a DUI charge.

From the moment a police officer suspects you are driving under the influence, your life can radically change. You will have to face criminal charges, which is bad enough. Additionally, you will face administrative penalties such as losing your license after a DUI—even for a first offense. Moreover, a conviction for a DUI offense stays on your record forever.

You need an aggressive DUI defense legal practitioner to help protect you from losing control of your life after a DUI charge. I can help you avoid the harsh consequences of a DUI charge. Call me today to learn more about how I can help preserve your freedom and your way of life.

Losing License After a DUI Arrest

A DUI arrest initiates two related but separate adversarial processes. You must appear in court after a DUI arrest. There, you may face penalties such as jail, fines, and having to satisfy probationary conditions like undertaking an alcohol evaluation and compliance with any recommended track program along with useful public service.  You should remember that you enjoy the presumption of innocence. That means the State must prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

That is not the case for the administrative penalties you face. In Colorado, the police must take your driver’s license immediately if you refuse a breathalyzer or chemical test after a DUI arrest. The State will also revoke your license if you fail a chemical test, just not right away. The State does not have the burden of proving the charges against you at the administrative level like they do in court.

Colorado DUI License Administrative Suspension

The Colorado Department of Revenue Motor Vehicles (DMV) Driver Control Section supervises DUI license suspensions. They will suspend your license immediately upon arrest if you refuse a chemical test. You will lose your license for one year. The DMV will impose this license suspension even if you beat your DUI charges in court.

The length of suspension you will receive for taking and failing a breath test is 9 months.  Should your test come out above 0.08%, you will lose your license for 9 months.  Should you take a blood test, you can keep your driver’s license pending the results of the blood test.  The DMV will review the results of the test and then send you a letter informing you of your right to request a hearing and the effective date of your suspension.  If your blood test result comes out above 0.08%, You will similarly lose your license for nine months for a first offense.

Coping with Losing Your License

You might experience a big dose of reality after a DUI arrest. It is a stressful time, and you probably have many questions like:

  • What will you do now that you lost your license?
  • How will you get where you need to go?
  • How will this affect your family?
  • What if a DUI arrest also triggered disciplinary hearings for you at work because you have a professional license?
  • How will losing your driver’s license affect your ability to make a living?

These are questions no one considers when they have a couple drinks and get behind the wheel. When you have DUI charges, you will find out quickly how much you rely on your driver’s license to live your life. That’s why you need to do everything in your power to ensure that you keep your license.

The worst thing you can do is drive during this time. Find alternative ways to get around. You will only compound your problems if you are arrested for driving on a revoked license for DUI.

What Options Do You Have?

You have options, but you must act swiftly to preserve your rights. Colorado gives you the opportunity to request a hearing to reinstate your driver’s license after an administrative suspension.

You have the right to request a hearing to contest the suspension for refusing the breath test within seven days. You can contest the officer’s actions at the hearing. The DMV will reinstate your license if you successfully challenge the administrative suspension. Having a qualified and experienced DUI defense lawyer from Colorado will increase your chances of success. Trying to do this alone might cause you more harm than good.

The letter you receive from the DMV informing you of your right to contest the chemical test results should indicate that you have 11 days to request an administrative hearing. Again, you should have a knowledgeable Colorado DUI defense attorney by your side as soon as you can, so you do not miss out on any chance you have to get your license reinstated.

Driver’s License Reinstatement

Even if you lose your appeal, you have a chance to get your license reinstated.  The Colorado DMV will allow you to reinstate your license if you serve what they call a “hard revocation” period and agree to use an ignition interlocking system.

You will face a minimum hard revocation period of two months if you refuse the chemical test. After that, you will need an ignition interlock on your car for two years.

The state is slightly more lenient with you if you took a chemical test. You will have a one-month hard revocation period if your chemical test result fell between 0.08% and 0.149%. Then you must use an interlock device for eight months. However, the DMV will give you permission to remove the interlock device if you have 120 days of no failed tests.

A “high” BAC of 0.15% or greater triggers additional requirements for reinstatement. These include carrying SR22 auto insurance for nine months to three years, a $95 reinstatement fee, participation in a level II treatment plan, and use of an ignition interlock device for two years.

Coping with Loss of Your Professional License

Professional licensees have an obligation to report all arrests to their respective licensing boards. You may face disciplinary action for your DUI arrest. Running from your obligation is one of the worst things you can do.

Remember, that if you have a criminal charge, you do not have to say anything that could hurt you. That’s called your right against self-incrimination or “taking the Fifth.” With the help of an experienced and dedicated Colorado DUI defense attorney, you can fight disciplinary action aggressively without prejudicing your rights.

Losing License After DUI Does Not Mean You Lose Your Rights

My staff and I at Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C. are committed to protecting your rights. I have successfully defended many people facing DUI charges by winning an acquittal or negotiating with the prosecution for a more lenient sentence. Call me today at 970-704-0888 to schedule a free consultation. We will plan the best defense for your case. You are not merely a number with us. I truly want you to get through this difficult time, and together we can make that happen.

Mark Rubinstein

Attorney Mark S. Rubinstein has been practicing law for more than 30 years, including 25 years in Colorado. He founded Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C., in Carbondale after working for law firms in Denver and earlier in his career in San Diego. He focuses his practice in the areas of criminal defense and personal injury representation, and he is well known throughout western Colorado as an effective and unwavering advocate for his clients.