There is an immediate Suspension of your Driver’s License in a DUI Case in Ohio.
In a DUI case, the arresting officer places you under an Administrative License Suspension (A.L.S.) when you either FAIL a requested chemical test (breath, blood or urine) or are listed as having REFUSED such a test.
An Administrative License Suspension is entirely separate from any suspension that the court may impose for the DUI charge itself. However, if you ultimately get a license suspension from the court out of the DUI case, the judge will give you retroactive credit towards the court suspension for any time your license was suspended under the A.L.S. Be aware that an A.L.S. stays in effect even if your lawyer beats the DUI charge outright.
If your Ohio driver’s license was taken at that time, it will ultimately be forwarded to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles in Columbus where it will be shredded. Even if your Ohio license was not taken at the time of your arrest, it is no longer valid.
When you are placed under an A.L.S. there is a “hard time” waiting period during which you are not permitted to have any limited driving privileges whatsoever. The length of the A.L.S. varies according to your prior DUI record.
Some courts, such as Ravenna Municipal, will allow your attorney to file a “stay” of the Administrative License Suspension in rare cases under certain circumstances. Municipal court judges make decisions on a case-by-case basis. A stay effectively restores your full privileges until the case is resolved. A driving letter is issued in place of your driver’s license. Fees apply, and proof of current insurance must be shown.
Some municipal courts, like Kent Municipal Court, will allow your lawyer to stay the A.L.S., but will immediately replace it with a Court Suspension with the same “hard time” waiting period. An A.L.S. suspension can be appealed within thirty days of your initial appearance. However, the grounds for such an appeal are very strictly limited by statute. Consult a DUI attorney for information.
An A.L.S. suspension is longer in duration and involves a longer “hard time” waiting period if a refusal is involved. Many judges will penalize you for refusing the breath, blood or urine test in a DUI case. An experienced DUI lawyer can best advise you how a particular judge will treat your individual situation.
If you need to check your Ohio driving record or license status, you can do so online by going to the BMV website at www.OhioBMV.com You can also check your re-instatement requirements via that site.
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