The state of Arizona considers operating a motor vehicle as a privilege that is earned and maintained by demonstrating safe and lawful driving. The Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) has the ability to suspend or revoke your driver's license. The primary difference between a driver's license suspension and a driver's license revocation is that a suspension has definite start and end dates, while a driver's license revocation means that your driver's license is completely taken away.
Regardless of whether the loss of your driver's license has been suspended or revoked, this situation is not something you should navigate without legal representation like an experienced Arizona DUI lawyer like the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod, P.C.
MVD will suspend your license for a variety of reasons. These can include:
- Refusal to submit to a breath or chemical test designed to detect whether or not a person is driving while under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs;
- The act of DUI involving either alcohol or drugs;
- Failure to pay civil penalty assessments for traffic violations; or,
- Being determined to be at fault in a traffic accident that causes either serious injury or death to another person.If a driver voluntarily agrees to submit to the breath or blood test requested by law enforcement officers and those test results indicate a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more, then a non-commercial driver's license privileges may be suspended for a period of 90 days. If a driver refuses to submit to or successfully complete the breath or blood tests requested by the law enforcement officer, the driver's privileges to drive may be suspended for a period of 12 months.
According to Arizona laws, drivers have the right to dispute the suspension of their driver's licenses. An MVD hearing is a separate process than the criminal case. There are some situations which mandate a suspension or revocation. In most cases, MVD is required to hold a hearing at the request of a driver whose driver's license has been ordered suspended. At the time of the hearing, the administrative law judge will decide whether the suspension of your driver's license will be upheld or voided.
If an MVD hearing officer makes the determination that a suspension is warranted, the suspension may begin any time up to 45 days after the date of the hearing. The suspension can be put on hold if the driver makes a rehearing request within 30 days of the date of the decision and order.
A person may be granted a restricted driving permit by MVD that may be used for trips to-and-from work, school and medical appointments for the last 60 days of the 90-day driver's license suspension period. The restricted driving permit is possible if the driver has not caused a serious physical injury to another person, has not been convicted of a prior DUI charge within the past seven years and has not had their privilege to drive suspended for a previous DUI-related suspension. It is possible for a person to receive a restricted driver's license for a 12-month suspension as the result of refusing to submit to the requested tests after they have served a 90-day period of suspension if they have installed an ignition interlock device (IID) on their motor vehicle and obtained SR22 insurance.
At the end of a driver's license suspension, a person's driving privileges will not be automatically restored. In addition to other possible reinstatement requirements, a reinstatement fee must be paid to MVD in order for reinstatement of driving privileges. Should a driver's license not be properly reinstated, there is a potential for stiffer penalties should another driving offense be committed while the driver's license is still considered suspended.
With all of the potential repercussions of a driver's license suspension, plus an arrest and a conviction for DUI, it is vital that your legal situation should be handled by expert professionals with the experience possessed by the attorneys at the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod, P.C.