Administrative License Suspension and DUI/DWI/OWI

I haven’t been convicted of drunk driving yet, why is my license suspended?

Administrative license suspension/revocation laws allow law enforcement officers to confiscate your driver’s license if you fail (blow a .08 or more in 49 states, blow a .05 or more in Utah) or refuse to take a breath test. An administrative sanction means it’s not a criminal offense and has nothing to do with any criminal DUI/DWI/OWI charges you may face. It’s an action taken by your state’s licensing agency. The suspension/revocation typically occurs immediately with the arresting officer taking the license at roadside. In some states, you will have a limited period of time to drive and get your affairs in order (for example, you can drive post-arrest for 30 days in Arkansas and 45 days in Maryland).  Some states require a “hard suspension” which means you cannot drive at all for a period of time — for example, in Colorado, you have a mandatory suspension period of 30 days. In Arizona, you can avoid any suspension by installing an ignition interlock. *

How can they do that?

When you obtain a license, you are agreeing to abide by the state’s driving laws, including one called “implied consent”. That means that if you accept the license, you are saying that you will give a breath test if asked by a police officer. If you don’t when asked, or if you fail it, the state can take away your license.    

What about due process?    

All states allow you to appeal the suspension. Check with your licensing authority (DMV in most states) to find out how. If you don’t appeal the suspension, or if your appeal is denied, you can still drive in many states by installing an ignition interlock. LifeSafer is the low-cost provider of choice for ignition interlocks.   

Suspension times vary from state to state. The chart below shows which states reduce or eliminate any mandatory license suspension time you may face following a failed or refused breath test if you install an in-car breathalyzer (also called an ignition interlock or interlock).  

StateALS with interlock to reduce/eliminate suspension
Alaska
AlabamaX
ArkansasX
ArizonaX
CaliforniaX
ColoradoX
ConnecticutX
Florida
GeorgiaX
IowaX
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Massachusetts
MarylandX
MichiganX
Minnesota
MissouriX
Mississippi
Montant
North Carolina
NebraskaX
New Jersey
New MexicoX
Nevada
Ohio
OklahomaX
OregonX
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Virginia
VermontX
WashingtonX
DC
Wisconsin
West Virginia
Wyoming

 

If your state is one that uses ignition interlock IIDs as a way to allow you to drive during your suspension, call LifeSafer today to set up your installation appointment and get back on the road — quickly, legally and affordably.

*Laws and requirements change all the time. Please check with your attorney, state licensing agency or other authority to evaluate your situation. This information is provided as a guide.