Administrative License Suspension in Akron
The most misunderstood part of an Akron DUI charge is typically the ALS. At Suhre & Associates, LLC, our knowledge of the differing aspects of an ALS will benefit you when dealing with an ALS.
When you are arrested for DUI, Akron area police will request you to submit to some chemical test to determine the level of drugs or alcohol in your system. If you do not submit to the tests you are asked to take, your license will be suspended right away.
This type of suspension is called an Administrative License Suspension.
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) hands down this suspension, not the courts. The police officer will hand down the
suspension on behalf of the BMV because the officer is an agent of the BMV. Ohio does not consider driving a right of an individual, but rather a privilege.
By accepting your Ohio driver’s license, you agree to submit to a chemical test at the request of a police officer if there is
probable cause to believe that you were operating a vehicle under the influence. Refusing the test results in a ALS.
It is up to the officer which tests will be administered. You are not allowed to select the test you want to take. Even if you take some tests but refuse just one, that counts as a refusal.
A suspect is afforded the right to have an independent test performed at his or her own expense. But the police don’t have to give you an independent test. Being unable to have this test performed does not give you grounds to have the test results suppressed.
The results of the testing process determine the length of the ALS. Your ALS will be one year if you fail to give the police a requested sample. If you submit to the requested test, and the results are over the legal limit, your ALS is for 90 days.
The ALS is separate from any court-imposed license suspension. The conviction for a first time DUI can include a license suspension of six months to three years, for example. This suspension is handed down by the presiding judge, not the BMV, and is called a judicial license suspension.
Prior to the administering of any test, the police are required to inform you of the consequences of both taking and refusing a test. These implied consent provisions can be found on the back of Form 2255. To be clear, this information is not related to any suspension that may be imposed after a DUI conviction, only an ALS.
There are two things that help determine how long an ALS will be: 1) whether or not the suspect tested over the legal limit or refused to take the test, and, 2) the number of prior refusals / convictions the offender had in the past six years.
For more information, please see the following
|Prior refusals/convictions in 6 years||Length of ALS|
Failed Chemical Test
|Prior refusals in 6 years||Length of ALS|
The judge may decide to reserve the ALS under these circumstances:
- the suspect did not refuse to take the test;
- the test results did not exceed the legal limit;
- there was no probable cause for the arrest;
- the police did not fully inform the suspect of the implied consent provisions.
In order to contest the ALS, an appeal must be filed on behalf of the defendant within 30 days of their arraignment. The right to appeal is waived if none is filed.
Form 2255 must be completed correctly; if it is completed defectively and a notarized copy is not sent to the BMV, for example, the ALS may be set aside. If this is the case, a motion to set aside the ALS as void “ab initio” (from the beginning) needs to be
brought before the court.
Other circumstances may lead to the termination of the ALS. If a test could not properly be conducted through no fault of the suspect, the ALS can be terminated. If an asthmatic suspect cannot physically produce enough air to complete the breathalyzer test, for example, the ALS will not stand.
Important points to consider regarding an ALS are the length of the suspension and how the suspension terminates. Your ALS will automatically end if you are convicted of DUI. But if you are not convicted, being acquitted or pleading guilty to a lesser charge will not end your ALS.
For example, if you are charged with a DUI and you refuse the test, your ALS is for one year. Even if you don’t get a license suspension from the judge, your one-year ALS will still be in effect if you are found not guilty or plead to a reckless operation.
Conversely, if you plead guilty to the DUI charge and receive a six month license suspension from the judge, your one year ALS will automatically terminate, and you will be able to obtain your license after six months.
If your test results are over the legal limit, your ALS will be 90 days. If it’s been 90 days and your case is still pending, any license suspension handed down by the judge, as well as your ALS, will terminate. After your ALS, in order to get a valid license, you will need to follow BMV requirements for reinstatement.
You will need to pay the BMV a reinstatement fee of $475 and provide proof of insurance to get your license. It’s important to keep in mind that even though you have a valid license while your case is pending, if you are convicted of DUI, the judge will suspend your license.
Any time served from the ALS will be credited toward the judicial license suspension. After the judicial license suspension has run, you can reinstate your license without having to pay the $475 reinstatement fee again.