Being out with friends on a Saturday night and enjoying good company and conversation can sometimes mean you lose track of how many beers or shots you’ve had, and if you’re driving yourself home, it’s easy to ignore how risky it is to get behind that wheel. You could find yourself suddenly being pulled over by a police officer and facing your first DWI.
If you don’t consider yourself a strong drinker and you never expected to be in that situation, it’s going to feel overwhelming. Even worse, your license will be automatically suspended, posing a risk to your job and livelihood. In Louisiana, the law is clear on what happens to those arrested for DWI, which is why it’s important to secure the backing of a professional DWI attorney.
What Happens to My Driver’s License After a DUI Arrest?
Even if this is your first DUI/DWI arrest, a driver’s license suspension is automatic in Louisiana. Once you’re arrested for a DWI, the arresting officer will confiscate your license and issue a temporary one that’s only valid for 30 days. Your driver’s license will be submitted by the officer as evidence collected against you during the arrest.
Having your license suspended is going to have a serious and negative impact on your job, career, and family life. At the same time, you’re also facing the possibility of having a criminal record and seeing your auto insurance rates soar. In Louisiana, a DWI leads to a license suspension whether or not you submit to a blood-alcohol test.
If the police officer asks you to take a breathalyzer test, Louisiana is an Implied Consent Law state, which means as soon as you got your driver’s license, you’ve given consent to be tested for alcohol or drugs. Refusing a breath test also guarantees a license suspension.
However, even though drivers’ license suspensions are automatic after DWI arrests in Louisiana, it’s still possible to get your license reinstated. That involves appearing for an administrative DUI hearing at the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles. But that’s also why it takes a skilled DWI attorney to help you recover your suspended license.
How Can I Get My Driver’s License Back After a DWI?
After your arrest, you have 15 days to request an administrative hearing with the OMV to get your license reinstated. How long your license gets suspended will depend on several factors, including:
- Your age
- How far over the legal limit your blood alcohol content (BAC) was
- If you’ve had previous DWI convictions
- and if you submitted to a breathalyzer test.
For your first DWI offense, your license will usually be suspended for up to 90 days, and that increases to one year for a second offense and up to two years for your third offense. However, if you also refuse a breathalyzer test for your first offense, your license will be suspended for 180 days instead, and the same is true if you were arrested for underage DUI.
At the OMV administrative hearing, a hearing officer will examine the evidence that the arresting officer submitted as part of the case against you. If you have an attorney, that individual can submit evidence in your defense. The decision on reinstating your license rests with the hearing officer.
If the hearing officer decides to reinstate your license, there will likely be conditions that you must agree to, including:
- Paying a reinstatement fee
- Showing proof of auto insurance
- Installing an ignition interlock device.
If the suspension is upheld, you can apply for a hardship license, although you don’t have a guarantee it will be granted. An experienced DWI attorney can walk you through the steps you need to take to get a hardship license. It includes obtaining expensive, high-risk auto insurance, having an ignition interlock device installed on your car to test your blood alcohol content (BAC) before you start your car, and demonstrating to the court that you need the hardship license to get to work or school. If the hardship license is granted, you won’t be able to drive anywhere except these specific locations. You’re also required to pay a fee for your hardship license
It’s important to keep in mind that there are defenses to fighting the State’s charges against you, including the ability of your attorney to show there was no probable cause to pull you over for DWI in the first place. If you weren’t driving in a questionable or reckless manner, it’s possible your DWI charges could be dropped. That’s why it’s always important to have an attorney knowledgeable about Louisiana’s DWI laws.
Contact Louisiana DWI Lawyers Ready to Help
If you’re facing your first DWI charges, don’t waste any time before you contact the most trusted law team in Louisiana. Attorney Eric G. Johnson is a skilled Louisiana DWI lawyer who has decades of experience protecting the rights of those accused of driving under the influence. As a team, they’re committed to providing reliable representation when you need it most.
Secure the best chance of protecting your reputation and your future by working with a Louisiana DWI attorney with distinguished experience representing minors. It’s your best chance at making sure your constitutional rights are protected throughout the judicial process and will help you protect your reputation and future. Call 318-377-1555 or complete our contact form for a free consultation.