Like most of us, you probably take driving for granted. However, if a law enforcement officer arrests you on suspicion of DWAI or DUI, you face suspension of your driving privileges.

How long will you be without a license? How will this affect your daily life? How will you get around?

The consequences of an arrest

Following the traffic stop, you will undergo blood alcohol testing. If the BAC test result is .079% or below, the officer will charge you with driving while alcohol impaired. If the result is .08% or higher, the official charge will be driving under the influence of alcohol. In either case, you will face both criminal and administrative penalties, the latter of which the Department of Motor Vehicles handles and involves the suspension of your driver’s license. To get it back, you must request a hearing within seven days of your arrest to explain why you need your license. For example, you may need to get to work or to college classes. Furthermore, your family members may depend on your ability to drive.

Alternative measures

For a first drunk driving offense, you could be without a license for nine months or more, but if you live in certain areas, such as Weld County, driving is essential. How would you get around otherwise? If public transportation is not an option, you would probably have to rely on friends or family members to give you a ride. You may ask your employer if you could telecommute at least a day or two a week to limit the need to have others drive you. On the other hand, if your school or place of employment is close enough, you may consider riding a bike.

The next step

Following an arrest for DWAI or DUI, you should explore your legal options promptly. You will only have seven days in which to request a hearing concerning the reinstatement of your driver’s license, and you no doubt want the best possible outcome for your case. Keep in mind that the DMV could negate the license suspension, allow you to have a special license to drive to school or work, or dismiss the administrative case against you altogether.