Is My License Suspended Before or After I go to Court for My DUI?

Whether your driver’s license will be suspended before or after you go to court on your Ohio DUI charges depends on your specific situation. When you are arrested on suspicion of DUI/OVI in the state of Ohio, you will likely be asked to take a chemical test by providing the police with either a blood, breath or urine sample. While breath tests yield immediate results, blood and urine tests do not. This means you could be contacted later, when the lab tests come back, but in truth, most times the police officers do not bother to contact the suspect.

If your test was under the legal limit, it is likely your license will not be suspended—if it is, for some reason, it is imperative that you contact an experienced Ohio DUI/OVI attorney immediately, as it can be appealed either at your first appearance or within 30 days of your arraignment. If the test showed you were over the legal limit of 0.08 percent, your driving privileges will be suspended. If you happen to have an out of state driver’s license, then you will still be able to drive outside the state of Ohio, although you may need to petition your home state for those driving privileges. If, however, you hold an Ohio driver’s license, you will be unable to drive anywhere in the United States.

It is important that the Ohio BMV have your current home address because you will be sent a written notice in the mail. The BMV will not pay “premium” postage, however, so it will not be forwarded. You will also be able to check your driving status online by going on the BMV website, where you can view an unofficial copy of your driving record which goes back for two years. It can take several weeks for the BMV to receive the notice of suspension from the police officer, updating their records.

First offenders who test over the limit should generally not pay the reinstatement fee on the 90-day ALS (Administrative License Suspension) unless the case takes longer than 90 days because the ALS could potentially be dismissed for a plea. If your case takes longer than 90 days, the driving letter expires and is no longer effective, sending the license status from suspended with limited privileges to failure to reinstate. Reinstatement will cost $475 for the BMV and also requires proof of auto insurance. At that time, assuming you have no other problems with your driver’s license, you will have your driver’s license returned and will be able to drive unrestricted.

The waiting period before a court has jurisdiction to modify an ALS will depend on the number of prior DUI/OVI convictions or refusal you have—this is known as the “hard suspension” time. Be aware that the court does not have to give you driving privileges—you have no actual right to driving privileges. Even if the court does grant your driving privileges, the court can limit where and when you drive. If you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI/OVI and have questions regarding your driving privileges, it is important that you speak to an experienced Ohio DUI attorney from Horwitz & Horwitz. Our attorneys can ensure you understand all the potential ramifications of your charges; we will help you determine the best way to proceed. Contact Horwitz & Horwitz today!