What to Expect from a Post-DUI Arrest Driver’s License Hearing

DUI cases in Utah are actually a two-part process that consists of the criminal hearings / trial and the ‘civil’ hearing before the Utah Dept of Public Safety – Driver’s License Division.

The latter occurs because Utah law mandates the automatic suspension of your driver’s license when you are arrested for DUI or refuse to submit to chemical testing under the state Implied Consent statute. In most cases the arresting officer provides you with a citation that serves as a temporary license and lasts for 29 days, but your primary objective should be to fight the suspension by requesting a Driver’s License Review Hearing. The hearing must be requested within 10 days of the arrest: if you miss this window, the suspension will be extremely challenging to fight.

The Driver’s License Review Hearing

These hearings take place at designated Driver’s License Division Offices and are attended by you, your attorney, the Driver’s License Hearing Officer, and the law enforcement officer who arrested you. When the proceedings begin, the latter will testify as to the circumstances of your arrest and how the tests were carried out (provided you did not refuse). You or your attorney will be able to cross-examine the officer and argue for the restoration of your license.

If you lose the hearing (or failed to request one) you automatically lose your license for 120 days as a first offender and two years if it is your second offense. If you refused the chemical test, the suspension will last for 18 months or 36 months for first and second offenses respectively. If you are under 21, the penalty for a first-time offender is a suspension of 120 days or until you turn 21, whichever is longer.

The Benefits of Attorney Representation

Attorney representation at your Driver’s License Review Hearing can greatly improve your chances of getting your license restored. A lawyer with a background in defending DUI charges will challenge the evidence against you in ways that could motivate the hearing officer to decide in your favor.

For example, if your chemical test returned a blood alcohol reading of .08 or higher, your attorney can propose that the test was not carried out properly or was inaccurate. They may also argue that the officer did not have reasonable grounds to arrest you for DUI.

The same attorney can use the information presented at the hearing to formulate your defense for the criminal case, ensuring that you have the best possible chance at getting the charge dismissed.

If you have been arrested for DUI in Utah, call the Law Office of Arnold, Wadsworth & Coggins today. We will meet with you at your convenience, go over your case, and put forth a dedicated effort to have your license restored as soon as possible.

Written by Arnold Wadsworth Coggins

Arnold, Wadsworth & Coggins Attorneys is a premier Utah law firm serving the Wasatch Front in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, criminal law, and civil litigation. Our attorneys provide clients with exceptional legal representation and personal attention. With over 35 years of trial practice and litigation experience, we bring big firm expertise at affordable rates