DUI and Your License
Q: I was arrested for a Driving Under the Influence (DUI). I took a breath test. I was told I was above the legal limit and they took my license. What should I do? I need to drive for work.
A: Assuming this incident occurred in Nevada and you have a Nevada license: In case of a breath test, an officer will file a Notice of Revocation or Suspension with the DMV if your breath test showed a concentration of alcohol (BAC) of more than .08 in your system (.04 if driving a commercial vehicle.) The Notice of Revocation form (DMV form DP45) will be given to you. The form works as a temporary license for no more than 7 days. Thus, the form will be your license for the next few days. After the form expires, you cannot legally drive.
However, at any time before your suspension period ends, you can request a hearing at the DMV. If a hearing is requested, the DMV will issue you a temporary driver’s license until a decision is made by a DMV Hearing Officer. This could be months down the road. The temporary license will work as a regular license. Although difficult, at the hearing, the police officer could fail to meet his/her low burden and/or there could have been an issue with the documents presented or the breath test, and thus it is possible to win a DMV hearing. If you win, the suspension is cancelled, and you will be re-issued your regular license back. If on the other hand, you lose the hearing, you will have your license suspended. After you complete 1/2 of your suspension period (for a first time offense 1/2 of the suspension period is 45 days (total suspension 90 days) you can apply for a restrictive license. The restrictive license permits you to go and come back from work. Keep in mind that if you win the hearing, and your license is returned, the DMV still gets two bites at the apple. The DMV can still suspend your license if you are later convicted of the DUI charge. It is best you consult with a criminal defense attorney to assist you both with your DMV hearing and with your court proceedings.