DUI License Suspensions

DUI Driver's License Suspension & Revocation

A DUI driver's license suspension might be one of the last things you’re thinking about when you are arrested for DUI, but your driver’s license is important.  It’s hard to live life without being able to drive in Tucson or Phoenix, and even harder in the more rural areas of southern Arizona. Being charged with DUI in Arizona will usually result in the Arizona MVD attempting to suspend your driver’s license.

Implied Consent DUI License Suspensions

When you get an Arizona driver’s license, you impliedly agree that you will take a breath or blood test if a police officer believes you are DUI.  If you refuse to take a chemical test, MVD will suspend your license for a full year.  When you have also refused testing during a prior DUI arrest, the MVD will suspend your license for two years.  If you submit to the test and the result is above the legal limit, then the MVD will suspend your license for 90 days.

In cases where a breath test is used, the result is immediate and the arresting officer will serve you with a notice of suspension.  If a blood test is taken, it can take awhile to get the results back from the crime lab.  The officer might serve you with a notice of suspension in these cases. More often you will get it in the mail after the crime lab has published the results.

You Can Challenge The DUI Suspension

DUI suspensions are automatic unless you request a hearing in writing within 30 days of receiving notice of suspension. If a hearing request is timely submitted, the suspension will not occur until after you've had a hearing. The hearing itself is an administrative hearing before a MVD hearing officer.  If you are outside of the Phoenix area, these hearings are now often done via video conferencing or over the telephone.

The litigation of your license suspension is completely separate from your DUI case, which is litigated in a criminal court. At Leonardo Law Offices, handle hearing requests and administrative hearings as part of our representation in a DUI case.

DUI Driver's License Suspension Upon Conviction

Even if you win an MVD hearing, your driver's license will be still suspended if you are convicted of DUI.  In this scenario you will usually be required to purchase an expensive SR22 insurance policy before you get your license reinstated. However, if you accept the administrative license suspension before you are convicted, there is no SR22 insurance requirement. There would also be no additional DUI license suspension upon conviction.

What You Can Do To Mitigate A DUI Driver's License Suspension

If you’re facing a DUI license suspension or revocation, there are things that can be done to reduce the impact on you and your family.  With any of these suspensions, it is usually possible to get a restricted license for at least a portion of the suspension.

After the first 30 days of a 90-day suspension, you can get a restricted license that allows you to drive for specific reasons. You can drive to work, school, treatment, a probation office, an interlock device service facility, or a doctor’s office. The only prerequisite is that you complete an alcohol evaluation/screening by a certified agency.

For the first 30 days of a 90-day suspension, before you are eligible for a restricted license, you can get a Special Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver’s License (“SIIRDL”). This license allows you to drive to work, school, treatment, a probation office, an interlock device service facility, or a doctor’s office.

The SIIRDL requires that you complete an alcohol evaluation/screening and have an ignition interlock device installed on you car. You can also get a SIIRDL if your license was suspended for 12 months due to your refusal to agree to a blood or breath test. If you do get a SIIRDL, you are essentially stipulating to the suspension imposed by MVD. This means you waive your right to have a hearing to challenge the suspension.

Getting Your Driver's License Back

If you are convicted of a DUI, you will be required to have a restricted interlock device license for 12 months before you can obtain a regular license. If there are no violations within the first 6 months, MVD will usually defer the final 6 months. Any time that you spent driving with a SIIRDL during the initial suspension period should be credited toward the 12-month time period. This means that you must get an ignition interlock device installed on your car and that the license only permits you to drive that car.  An ignition interlock device essentially requires you to take a breath test before you can start the car and at random intervals after the car has been started.

If you are facing DUI charges in Arizona, it is critical that you are represented by an experienced DUI attorney who knows this area of the law. At Leonardo Law Offices, we are experienced in handling felony and misdemeanor DUI cases, including extreme and super-extreme DUI charges, and have had good results.  Our representation includes handling license suspension matters administratively with the Arizona MVD.  For a free assessment of your case, call our Tucson, Arizona office at (520) 314-4125 or contact us online.


Consult the following links for more information about Arizona Criminal and DUI laws, as well as local court information:

Arizona Revised Statutes

Tucson City Court

Pima County Justice Court

Pima County Superior Court

Maricopa County Superior Court

Pinal County Courts

Santa Cruz County Courts

BAC Calculator

Other Links