Why the DUI Arrest Process Involves the DMV

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Criminal Defense Attorney Fighting on Behalf of Colorado Springs Drivers with DUI Arrests

In the state of Colorado, a DUI arrest not only involves law enforcement and the district attorney’s office; it also includes the department of motor vehicles.

Administrative penalties are one of the lesser talked about punishments, but one that you need to be aware of if you are arrested for a DUI. These administrative penalties kick in even if you are not convicted of your DUI in criminal courts.

What are the Administrative Penalties?

If your blood alcohol concentration is over the legal limit of 0.08 percent, and you are over 21 years old, the Division of Motor Vehicles has the legal authority to suspend your driver’s license. Regardless of the criminal charges you may face, including DWAI and DUI, you can lose your driver’s license.

The penalties are automatic, which means the DMV can suspend your driver’s license, apply fees, and add points to your driving record based on the offense.

The administrative penalties will depend on the offense, but some general DMV penalties include:

  • DWAI 1st Offense – You receive 8 points toward your driver’s license suspension and a $200 to $500 fine.
  • DUI 1st Offense – Administrative penalties include a license revocation for 9 months.
  • DUI or DWAI for under 21 Years – If you are under the age of 21, you will have your driver’s license suspended for 3 months and 4 points added to your driving record.

The Required Alcohol Hearing

Seven days after you have received your notification from the DMV regarding your driver’s license revocation or suspension, you must request your hearing with a DMV official. It is imperative that you request the hearing. If you do not, you receive an automatic suspension or revocation.

To put in your request, you must physically visit the DMV and fill out the request form. You must also turn in your driver’s license unless the law enforcement officer that arrested you confiscated it.

Why Does the DMV Get Involved?

The DMV has their administrative penalties, which are allowed by statute. Also, the sentences come from the state. While it does not seem fair, the DMV handles your driving privileges; therefore, they must get involved to administer the penalties.

While your attorney cannot represent you in the DMV hearing or help you with the administrative penalties, they can provide you with information and assist in ensuring you schedule your hearing so that you do not suffer an automatic revocation. You may receive a partial privilege so that you can still drive to work.

What if You Fail to Take the Breathalyzer?

If you refuse to take the breathalyzer, you will automatically lose your driver’s license. As a licensed driver in Colorado, the state assumes implied consent to be tested when under the suspicion of a DUI.

Arrested for a DUI? Contact a Colorado DUI Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested for a DUI, protect yourself from the criminal penalties. A first-time DUI still has harsh penalties that you cannot afford. Schedule a consultation now with Christian A. Schwaner, P.C. at 719-577-9700 or contact him online to get started.

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