It’s What We Work On First For Our Clients

An Administrative License Suspension or ALS is typically ordered for a DUI suspect after arrest. Receiving driving privileges so you can travel to school, work or for medical reasons is important for those arrested for DUI.

While awaiting the outcome the DUI case or even after a DUI conviction, limited driving privileges may be granted at the court’s discretion. Privileges are limited to particular instances, as defined by Ohio law.

Privileges may be granted to get someone to work, to school or for medical reasons. The court can grant driving privileges in the cases of taking a driver’s license exam, if a minor needs to practice with a parent or guardian or in the case of court-ordered treatment.

After the initial arrest, a “hard” license suspension will ordinarily be given and the privileges will be revisited at the first court appearance, or arraignment. Restricted driving privileges are usually requested during the first pre-trial hearing or the arraignment.

Particular judges will ask for a written petition and will require the accused to have a hearing while other judges only ask for an oral petition before awarding driving privileges. In some cases, driving privileges are easily granted while in others they are not; much of this depends on the judge. Driving privileges are granted entirely at the discretion of the judge.

Sometimes, driving privileges are denied, even if the offender is eligible to receive them. In order to successfully petition for limited driving privileges, the person must have current auto insurance, as well as valid insurance at the time of the arrest. The person isn’t eligible for driving privileges if this is not the case.

There’s a reason they’re called limited driving privileges – they’re limited. If granted, a letter will be given to the accused stating his or her permission to drive. The contents of this letter will include the offender’s home address as well as the places he or she is allowed to drive and their specific school/work/appointment schedule.

There are some cases where an individual’s schedule will vary weekly or even daily. In this situation, the driver must carry a current school/work schedule and the letter will state that this schedule varies.

By either not carrying a current schedule or driving outside the scope of the privileges, the person may be arrested for Driving Under Suspension, which carries penalties of a maximum six months in jail, $1,000 fine and immediate impoundment of the driven vehicle.

While a case is pending and if the defendant meets certain requirements, the court may grant that person pre-trial limited driving privileges. The judge will consider whether or not the defendant refused a blood alcohol test, tested over the legal limit or had any previous DUI convictions or refusals.

If it’s the first DUI arrest, an individual can petition for driving privileges after a 15-day “hard” suspension if he or she tested over the legal limit; if the individual refused the test, they can petition after 30 days.

The hard suspension will be 90 days if a person has had two refusals in the last six years. A one-year hard suspension will be given if a defendant has three refusals in the last six years. If the defendant has failed two tests in six years, he or she will receive a hard suspension of 30 days; failing three tests in six years will result in a suspension of 180 days.

The court may order additional restrictions of a person’s driving privileges, such as requiring the installment of an ignition interlock device, yellow restricted license plates, or both. In the case of a second offense or a high tier test result, the court might require the ignition interlock device.

An ignition interlock device requires the driver’s breath to be free of alcohol in order for the vehicle to start; the driver will be asked to breathe into the machine periodically while the vehicle is in use.

Interlock devices are installed at the defendant’s cost and normally range from $45-75 per month. The defendant must first secure an Interlock License from the BMV before getting an interlock device installed. Next, the defendant has to set up an appointment with the probation department before having the device installed.

Typically after a DUI arrest, the defendant’s driver’s license is surrendered to the arresting officer. To obtain temporary identification, we suggest the use of a passport or applying for a temporary state ID card.

A TEMPORARY state ID is different from a PERMANENT state ID and the defendant must be aware of this difference. A permanent state ID renders a driver’s suspended license terminated and the defendant will not have any driving privileges. At the conclusion of any license suspension, the defendant will then have to re-take both the written and driving tests in order to secure their driver’s license.

Bear in mind that notification of an ALS to the BMV usually takes up to two weeks. Even if a person applies for a temporary state ID, if the BMV has not gotten notice of the ALS, the ID issued will be permanent. The BMV requires both a social security card and a birth certificate in order to apply for a temporary ID. The Ohio BMV website lists other acceptable forms of identification.