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License Revocation: Understanding the Right to Revoke

License revocation is one the most inconvenient aspects of DUI. However, every person convicted of a DUI will face license revocation for some period of time, whether short or long-term. Therefore, it’s important to understand the law behind it, and why police have authorization to revoke your license in these circumstances. Every case is different, but some aspects are unchanging— and this is one of them. 

License Revocation: Understanding the Courts’ Right to Revoke

The Four Criteria

The first thing to understand, is that there are four criteria that the officer must meet before your license is subject to revocation: 

  1. The officer must have reasonable grounds to believe that you have committed an offense that qualifies as an ‘implied consent offense’ 
  2. You are charged with that offense 
  3. The officer and chemical analyst are compliant with all guidelines for chemical analysis
  4. Lastly, that person submits to that analysis, has a BAC of .08 or higher (.04 or higher for a commercial driver), or any BAC whatsoever if that driver is under 21

What happens if I meet these criteria? 

If you meet these criteria, the officer will then have to submit a revocation report to the magistrate. From there, the magistrate will decide whether the officer met the criteria. Then, if they determine that all is as it should be— they will order for the revocation of your license. That revocation is what we call a ‘civil license revocation’.

Are there any exceptions? 

If, for some unrelated reason, you already have a driver’s license revocation, the magistrate will document that, and then move on. In short, there’s no reason to revoke your license if you are already without it— and will stay that way through the revocation period. 

How long will my license be revoked? 

You may get your license back after 30 days (sometimes longer), and after you pay $100 to the clerk. Only then, will you receive your license back. However, if you have any pending charges that led to your license revocation previously— it will remain that way until you receive the final judgement for any and all offenses. 

Can I contest the revocation?

If you feel that the revocation was invalid, you may request a hearing within a certain period of time. You have the ability to request that the district court judge conduct the hearing. If you fail to do so, the magistrate will hear the case. There is a ten day window within which you can request this hearing. 

Is there ever a time when you can request a hearing outside of that 10 day window? 

In the event that your BAC results are available through blood test rather than breath test, the results take longer to get there. Only in this specific case will you be able to receive a hearing after that initial period.

Can I request limited driving privileges (LDP’s)? 

After your license is revoked, you may petition the district court judge for LDP’s under these certain criteria: 

  1. Your license was either valid, or expired for less than a year 
  2. You have no pending charges against you, besides the current charge 
  3. Your license has been revoked for at least ten days 
  4. You have obtained a substance abuse assessment and agreed to any recommended treatment 

What if I have an indefinite revocation because of prior charges? Can I still request LDP’s? 

Under certain circumstances, yes. However, you must wait thirty days (rather than ten) and prove that the LDP’s are needed to overcome ‘undue hardship’. Furthermore, you must be able to show that, at the time of the offense, you have: 

  1. A license that is either valid, or expired for less than a year
  2. No prior charges that involve impaired driving within the last seven years
  3. No unresolved charges for impaired driving in any capacity 
  4. Filed your substance abuse assessment with the court