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Challenging Birmingham First Offense DUI License Suspension

Being able to drive is one of best privileges we have, which is why getting your license suspended can be an inconvenience. Getting back on the road is important for the daily routine of millions of Americans. You may want to dispute the suspension, but it is essential you obtain the right counsel when doing so.

If you have been arrested for a DUI, make sure you contact an accomplished defense attorney when challenging Birmingham first offense DUI license suspension.

Process of Challenging a Suspension

As far as the high BAC, regular drunk driving, OWI, or impaired, when a person is challenging the license sanction, they have to get a different deal to try and reduce or eliminate the driving sanction by going outside of the drunk driving convictions.

At the time the person has a hearing, the police officer is required to show up and prove four things. One is the person was stopped for a drunk driving. They must make a perfunctory showing that the person was intoxicated or impaired, which is a very low burden of proof. The burden of proof at the Secretary of State is not beyond a reasonable doubt; it is a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that more likely than not. In other words, the officer must win with 51% of the evidence.

Applying for a Restricted License

With a restricted license on an implied consent, there has to be a hardship petition filed with the circuit court in which they were arrested. It is very important that a person has an attorney that understands the local court rules. There is a timeline that is required to wait because the Secretary of State must be informed of this petition. They must have the ability to get a representative from the attorney general’s office to appear for them at that hearing if they so choose.

What an Officer Must Prove

Because of the lower standard, it is very easy for the officer to prove many of the required elements. Additionally, because the officer is an unrepresented party, the hearing officers will generally defer to them and give assistance to help them win their case. Outside of making a perfunctory showing that the person was intoxicated or impaired, they do not actually have to show the person was intoxicated or impaired, only that the possibility existed and that they have probable cause to arrest the person.

Secondly, they have to prove that the person was arrested for drunk driving and not for another offense. Another thing is that they read the person the back of either the DI-177 or DI-93, which includes the person’s chemical test rights as presented by the Secretary of State. As long as they read those rights verbatim, then that is satisfied.

The fourth thing is the person must manifest some intent to not take the test. It can be as simple as saying that the person was not going to take the test. Sometimes, it can be difficult if someone did not provide enough breath for the sample, which can get to issues of reliability in regards to an officer’s opinion about whether someone could provide enough breath for a sample. These are all issues that lawyers would have to take a look at and potentially contest when challenging a Birmingham first offense DUI suspension.

Legal Limit as Evidence

One of the issues that are often wondered about is if they have to prove the person was above the legal limit and the answer is no. The blood result obtained in most of these cases is not admissible because it is irrelevant to these proceedings. It does not matter if someone is drunk or sober if they unreasonably refused the test. There are many times when people have not have anything to drink, refused to blow into the machine, and end up with this sanction, even though they were not drunk driving.

Getting License Back After Being Acquitted

Once there is an acquittal or if the case is dismissed, a copy of the judgment is entered in dismissing or acquitting the case. If a person can get that judgment from the court, they can present it to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will, at that point, return the person’s license. Until that acquittal or dismissal is obtained, the paper license is the person’s license. Once that acquittal or dismissal is obtained, the person will go to the Secretary of State with a copy of the judgment.

The Secretary of State will release the person’s license, take their picture, and give them a new paper license, indicating that the person will have a plastic license on the way. Contact a lawyer who has the knowledge dealing with challenging Birmingham first offense DUI license suspensions today.