What You Need to Know About Your DMV Hearing After Your DUI
When you are arrested for suspected drunk driving, you will be taken to a local police station and asked to submit to blood, breath, and/or urine tests in order to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. You may refuse to take these tests, in which case your license will be immediately suspended for 24 hours and police will file a report with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) indicating that you refused chemical testing. If you submit to any of these tests, your information and samples will be analyzed in a lab and the DMV will be notified if your results show BAC levels at or above the legal limit.
Whether or not you opted to submit to chemical testing at the time of your DUI arrest, you are legally entitled to a DMV hearing. However, you have a small window of time in which to request a hearing, at which point evidence can be presented that may result in your DUI charges being dismissed or thrown out. When you receive your suspension notice in the days following your arrest, you should request a DMV hearing immediately, so you can begin taking proper steps to avoid the harsh consequences of a DUI conviction.
A DMV hearing does not function the same way a court hearing does. That is to say, the DMV cannot levy criminal charges against you and does not have the force of law. However, they can revoke your driver’s license and keep you off the roadways, which will inevitably complicate your life by making it more difficult to transport yourself to and from work, the grocery store, your child’s daycare, etc.
At a DMV hearing, the particulars of your DUI arrest will be discussed, and it will be determined whether or not police had “probable cause” to detain you and do chemical tests. You are not required to appear at a DMV hearing. An experienced DUI defense attorney can appear on your behalf and fight your charges. This could save you the heartache, difficulty, and severely limiting consequences of going to trial and potentially being convicted.