People assume they can continue driving their vehicles like normal after they've been arrested and charged with DUIs, but that's not always the case. You may be surprised to learn that the DMV will sometimes suspend your license immediately after a DUI arrest even though your case is still ongoing. Here are two times when that may occur.
You Refuse to Submit to Chemical Testing
When people are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it's common for law enforcement officers to require the driver to submit to chemical testing of some kind. For instance, if the cop thinks you have been drinking, he or she may ask you to take a breathalyzer test.
It's generally believed you can refuse to take the test, but you are legally bound to do so. All states have implied consent laws that specify that, by being a licensed driver and traveling on public roads, you automatically agree to submit to sobriety and chemical testing when requested.
Failing to comply results in serious consequences, and one of those is the automatic and immediate suspension of your driver's license. Other penalties may include fines and jail time.
Sometimes you can appeal the DMV decision, but you have to act quickly, as the window to file an objection is often short. In Ohio, you must submit an appeal within 30 days of your first court appearance, for example. If you don't appeal in time, then the suspension will go into effect for however long the law dictates.
That's why it's important to hire a DUI attorney as soon as possible. The lawyer can let you know whether your license is at risk and help you file the necessary paperwork to avoid losing your driving privileges.
Your BAC Was Too High
Another reason your license may be taken away is if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is too high. In some states, your license may be automatically suspended if your BAC is over the legal limit, which is typically 0.08.
As with the issue of refusing to submit to chemical testing, the license suspension is usually immediate and you can appeal. However, even if the DMV denies your appeal, you may be able to obtain a restricted license you can use to legally drive to specific places, such as your job or to school.
Again, you'll likely need the help of a DUI attorney who can direct you on what you need to do to save your driving privileges in this situation, so you should start calling around for one as soon as you get out of jail.
For help with a DUI case, contact a local criminal defense attorney at a law firm like Cohen Law Offices, LLC for assistance.