I got charged with an OUI/DUI. What’s the status of my license?

Getting charged with an OUI, regardless of whether you have a prior record, can be a daunting experience.  Every case is different, and every personal situation is different as well. An OUI charge can have great ramifications on a person’s job, license status, and way of life.  For many people, the license loss will have the most immediate impact. Refusing a breathalyzer carries a license loss of six months to lifetime – it is generally six months for a first offense OUI.  If you take the breathalyzer and provide a reading of 0.08 or greater, then the license loss is thirty days. Either way, the license loss goes into effect immediately. Further complicating things, the license loss is different for individuals who are under twenty-one and for those with a CDL (commercial driver’s license).  Remember, the license loss only applies to your performance/decision on the breathalyzer at the State Police barracks or police station after you have been arrested – not the portable breathalyzer that most officers offer roadside as a field sobriety test.  

This can be confusing, but the police do not give someone a break for driving with a suspended license after an OUI arrest because he or she did not understand the status of his or her license.  Thus, it is vital that you understand what your license status is before considering getting behind the wheel of your car. Some judges might hold you in jail if you drive with a suspended license with an open OUI case.  It is very important to consult with a lawyer who is well versed in OUI law as soon as possible after your OUI arrest. Your lawyer should go over your situation with you and evaluate your case. Depending on your circumstances, you might want to take the case to a trial.  If not, resolving the matter is the quickest way to getting your license back. Make sure to speak to your lawyer about all your options so that you make the right decision for you and your family.

Michael Thaler, Esq.

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