Getting Back On The Road: Driving Restrictions After A DUI

Retaining your right to drive after a DUI conviction can come with some conditions. These conditions may vary depending on where you live and how many prior convictions you have had in the past. If you are facing DUI charges and you are wondering about whether or not you will be able to drive with a conviction, here are a few things to know about driving restrictions and conditions.

License Suspension

For a first-time DUI conviction, you may have your license suspended temporarily. The length of the suspension depends on the number of previous offenses. In Florida, the mandatory minimum suspension for a first-time offender is 6 months. A second offense carries with it a 12-month suspension.  Driving on a suspended license can result in more severe penalties, including fines, jail time or the revocation of your license. Be sure to check with your attorney after the term of your suspension is up to make sure you don't have to do anything else to get your driving privileges back.

Restricted Licenses

In some states, such as Virginia, you can petition the court to grant a restricted driving license. The restricted license may grant you the ability to drive to and from work or to care for a child or disabled dependent. You may have to provide documentation demonstrating your extenuating circumstances, which the court can then use to consider your application. Some states put additional conditions in place for restricted licenses. Illinois, for example, requires the installation of a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) for people with multiple DUI convictions or license suspensions.

Ignition Interlock

A judge may require you to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle as a condition of retaining your driving privileges. These devices check your blood alcohol level before you start your vehicle, and they can also be set up to monitor your BAC while you are driving. If your BAC shows that you are impaired, the device will prevent your car from moving. Seven states have mandatory requirements for ignition interlock devices after a second DUI conviction, while others require it for anyone with a blood alcohol level of .08 or greater, even with a first conviction. The rules in each state are different, so ask your attorney what the regulations are in your area.

Following the conditions of your state's driving laws after a DUI conviction will help you to stay out of legal trouble in the future. Be sure you understand the terms of your conviction, sentencing and any driving restrictions you have as a result of your DUI so you can make sure you are following the letter of the law. Contact a firm like Boehmer Law for more information.