Drive Time: How A DUI Affects Driving Privileges

If an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) has you worried about your future driving privileges, you are right to be concerned. The way your DUI case turns out can have a huge effect on your punishments, and that includes your driving privileges. That means that you must make it a priority to retain a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in working with DUI clients. In the meantime, you can prepare yourself for the potential outcome of your case by taking a look at what might happen to your ability to drive.

DUI Circumstances and Enhancements 

Not only are the skills of your DUI attorney important to the outcome of your case, but the particulars of your case and your record can affect the punishment. Take a look at some factors that can make the difference between a minor case and a more serious DUI case:

1. Your record of past DUI convictions – Most states take repeated DUI arrests to a higher level of punishment.

2. Special circumstances – As if it weren't bad enough to be charged with a DUI, if you also broke some traffic laws at the same time it can only add to the punishment.

3. Injury or death to others – Needless to say, a death or injury to a passenger in your car or another car will lead to enhanced penalties.

4. Property damage – Some states consider damage to property when deciding whether to charge DUI defendants with a misdemeanor or a felony.

5. Children involved – If a minor aged child was in the car or involved in any way, expect more penalties.

Hardship Driving Privileges

If you are able to be approved to drive after a DUI, you will have to prove need. If you are solely responsible for taking your children to school or to the doctor, you might be able to apply for a hardship license. Other potential hardship situations include:

  • To and from work.
  • To and from school.
  • Going to the emergency room.
  • Taking elderly parents to doctor's appointments.
  • Attending court-ordered addiction counseling or taking court-ordered classes.

Applying for a Hardship License

The way driving privileges are handled after being charged with a DUI is based on both the court and the department of motor vehicles in your state. You will find that your driving privileges are automatically suspended after being arrested and you must apply to the court and to the DMV to have a hardship license issued to you.

Your driving privileges are but one area of punishments you could face if you are convicted of a DUI. It's vital that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible for help dealing with the intricacies of driving privileges and more.