A person convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) can have his or her license suspended by the court even if the DUI is a first time offense. However, a convicted driver may qualify for a hardship or restricted license under certain circumstances. A restricted license enables a person convicted of a DUI to drive to work or school or to use the vehicle for a medical emergency.
Getting a Restricted License After DUI
Generally, a driver stopped for a DUI will have his or her license confiscated by the officer. If the license is not confiscated, the officer may punch a hole in it. The officer will then issue a citation which serves as a temporary license. Depending upon the state's laws, the temporary license is good for a period of 30 or 60 days. During this time, the driver should plan to request a restricted license. Below is the steps to getting a restricted license:
- The driver should request an administrative hearing with the DMV within 30 days after the arrest. The DMV suspension may run concurrently or consecutively with a suspension issued by the criminal court. If the request is made outside the 30-day time limit, the driver loses his or her license with no right to appeal.
- During this time, the driver can apply for a conditional license (some states allow you to fill out an application online). State laws vary, but each has qualifications for restricted licenses. A request for a restricted license may also require the installation of an interlock device to ensure that the driver does not drive the car outside the limited time parameters of use.
- If a alcohol treatment program is required by law, the driver should comply with all stipulations.
Some states do not offer restricted licenses. Other states offer work permits which are more limited than restricted licenses. While a work permit allows a driver convicted of a DUI to only drive to and from work, the restricted or hardship license limits the driver to drive within certain hours of the day. The driver with a restricted or hardship license can use the car to go other places than work, such as school, a doctor's office, or grocery shopping.
Additionally, some states issue hardship licenses to drivers under the legal driving age dependent on the needs of their family needs as well as the distance of their home from the local schools and public transportation.
Learn more about DUI and the DMV.
States That Provide Restricted or Hardship Licenses
The following states provide restricted or hardship licenses for drivers convicted of a DUI:
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
- Washington DC
Currently Alabama, Kansas, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Vermont do not provide restricted licenses.
Find a Lawyer
If you have had your license suspended for driving under the influence, you may request a restricted license to allow you to drive to work, school, or other places. Talk with a lawyer to determine if your state issues restricted or hardship licenses.
Learn more about DUI Charges and Penalties.From the author: Appealing a DUI Suspension License