ARIZONA MOTOR VEHICLE DIVISION (MVD) LICENSE SUSPENSIONS IN DUI CASES
TREAD CAREFULLY, YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE IS AT RISK FROM SEVERAL POTENTIAL SUSPENSIONS
ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE SUSPENSIONS: There are two basic types of administrative license suspensions common in Arizona DUI cases. These suspensions have nothing to do with your ultimate innocence or guilt in the criminal case. If you refused a breath, blood or urine test (or couldn't complete one), you may face a minimum of a year license revocation. If you take a chemical body-alcohol test and fail it, you may face a minimum of a 90-day license suspension.
POINTS SUSPENSIONS: A DUI carries 8-points on your Arizona driving privileges. It doesn't matter what state your license is from. Any time you accumulate between 8 and 12 points, your Arizona driving privileges will be suspended unless you are eligible for and attend traffic survival school. Beware if you are charged with civil traffic offenses in addition to a DUI (commonly referred to as the "back up charges"), because pleading responsible to an infraction may add to your point total and cause an unforeseen suspension.
SUSPENSION BY A CONVICTION: When a person is convicted of a DUI in Arizona, the court in which the conviction took place will send an abstract to the MVD. Once the Motor Vehicle Division gets word of the DUI conviction, their policies will dictate what happens next . If the drunk driving conviction was a first offense in a five year time frame, the MVD will not take action because of the conviction if an administrative license suspension has already been issued. Therefore, it may make sense to take the Administrative License Suspension in some cases. Ask an experienced DUI defense lawyer to see if this applies to your case.&
DON'T MISS THE 15-DAY ARIZONA MVD DEADLINE TO REQUEST AN ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING
Any person who drives a motor vehicle in Arizona gives consent to a test or tests of their blood, breath, urine or other bodily substances so law enforcement can determine alcohol concentration or drug content if the person is arrested for DUI.
Under Arizona Law, the Police Officer chooses the type of test, and administered at his/her direction, so long as the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle either:
- While under the influence of alcohol or drugs; or
- If the person is under age 21 with alcohol in the person's body.
Following an arrest, the officer should request the subject to submit to and successfully complete any test mentioned above that the officer designates. If the subject refuses to submit to the test, or does not successfully complete the test, his/her license will be suspended for 12 months for a first refusal, or for 2 years for a second or subsequent refusal within a period of 60 months.
Any failure by the person arrested for DUI to expressly agree to the test, or to successfully complete the test is deemed a refusal.
Prior to the test, the suspect must be informed that if the test shows a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more if the arrest involved a personal vehicle, or 0.04 or more if a commercial vehicle was involved, the person's license will be suspended for at least 90 consecutive days.
Any person who is dead, unconscious or otherwise incapable of refusing to submit to a test is deemed not to have withdrawn consent for the test, and a test can be administered (usually a blood test).
IF YOU REFUSE THE TEST
If you exercise your right to refuse under Arizona's implied consent law, the following will happen:
A. The test will not be given (unless the officer obtains a search warrant, in which case he/she can immobilize you and forcibly draw your blood);
B. The officer will file a certified report with the department of motor vehicles;
C. The officer will serve you with an order of suspension that is effective 15 days after the date the order is served;
D. You will be required to immediately surrender your license or permit if it is in your control;
E. If your license is surrendered, the officer will issue a temporary permit that is good for 15 days;
When the department receives the certified report from the officer, the department will enter the suspension into its records on the effective date unless a written request for a hearing is made by you.