If you are charged with driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, your license will be taken by the police and you will be issued a temporary license that lasts 45 days. On the 46th day your license will be suspended. To continue driving, you can fight your suspension in an administrative hearing or enter the ignition interlock system. You can extend the length of your temporary license to the date of your administrative hearing, by asking for a hearing within 10 days of being charged. You have 30 days to request an administrative hearing, but the 45 day time limit of your temporary license will not be extended if you request your hearing after the 10th day.
When a driver enters the ignition interlock program, he or she can only drive cars that are equipped with an ignition interlock system. These systems prevent a car from starting until the driver has breathed into a device and the device has determined the driver is sober. The driver will have to breathe into the device periodically while driving. Typically, there is an installation cost and a monthly service fee with the ignition interlock program. The driver will need to breathe into the interlock system at least 50 times per month or explain to the Motor Vehicle Administration why he or she was unable to breathe into the device 50 times a month. Drivers in the interlock program, must file a monthly report with their interlock system provider so that providers can make sure that drivers are complying with the program.
If having your license suspended or only being able to drive cars equipped with ignition interlock systems is not acceptable, you can request an administrative hearing. In an administrative hearing, the judge does not have to allow you to participate in the ignition interlock program. You are only guaranteed entry into the program if you enter into the program prior to the hearing. At the hearing, the administrative law judge can decide to suspend your license, allow you to enter into the ignition interlock program, enter the ignition interlock system and allow you to drive work vehicles that are not equipped with ignition interlock devices, or find that your license should not be suspended. If you can show that the officer induced you into refusing the chemical test by providing misinformation you can beat the suspension.
At the hearing, the only facts the administrative law judge will consider are:
- Whether the police officer had reasonable grounds to believe you were driving or attempting to drive while under the influence of or impaired by alcohol or drugs;
- Whether there is evidence that you used alcohol or drugs;
- Whether the police officer advised you of administrative sanctions before requesting the in-station chemical breath test;
- Whether you refused to take the test;
- Whether you drove or attempted to drive while having a alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more;
- Whether you drove or attempted to drive while having an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more; and
- If the hearing involves disqualification of a commercial driver’s license, whether you were operating a commercial motor vehicle or held a commercial driver’s license.