DMV Hearings

Administrative Driver's License Suspension Proceedings & DUI

When a driver is arrested for DUI, OUI or DWI and is accused of refusing or failing a chemical test to determine his or her blood alcohol concentration, the driver will face administrative driver's license suspension proceedings. The local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or other government agency that handles these matters will initiate proceedings to suspend or revoke the driver's license based upon the failure or refusal of the breath, blood or urine test. Most often, these administrative proceedings are referred to as DMV hearings, though different states may refer to them with varying terms.

The DMV hearing is a key part of any DUI case. These proceedings are conducted separately from criminal court proceedings and will not affect the outcome of the criminal case. For example, a driver may be acquitted in criminal court but may still face administrative license suspension as the result of a lost DMV hearing.

How a DMV Hearing Works

After an arrest for driving under the influence or drunk driving, the driver has a certain amount of time to contact the local DMV or other appropriate government agency in order to schedule a hearing regarding the suspension of his or her driver's license. This is the driver's opportunity to challenge the suspension of his or her license. A failure to schedule a hearing within the allotted amount of time will result in the automatic suspension of his or her license.

Administrative License Suspension
The license suspension enacted by the DMV as a result of a DUI arrest is referred to as an "administrative" license suspension because it occurs independently of criminal proceedings. A driver may face driver's license suspension for a set amount of time, depending on the jurisdiction and the specific nature of the alleged DUI offense.

Evidence Considered at a DMV Hearing
There are certain key issues that will be considered at a DMV hearing, including: whether the individual was driving the vehicle, whether the arrest was lawful, whether the driver actually refused the chemical test and whether the driver's blood alcohol level was actually above the legal limit.

Why an Attorney?
There are various ways that a DUI attorney can assist you at your DMV hearing. This includes scheduling the hearing for you and representing your interests at the hearing to ensure your case and evidence are presented in a clear and compelling manner. This can help you seek a positive result so you can save your license.

Different states will have different policies as regards DMV hearings and the time constraints associated with these hearings. It is therefore important to consult with a local lawyer who is familiar with these proceedings and can provide you with helpful guidance and information.

For help with a DMV hearing, find a DUI lawyernear you.