Contesting a DUI License Suspension With an Administrative Hearing
8th January 2021
After being arrested for DUI in North Dakota, you have 10 days to contest your license suspension.
In 2019, there were approximately one million drivers arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. That means that in 2019, approximately 17% of the population was arrested for a DUI of some kind. It’s also estimated that every weeknight between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m., one in 13 drivers is drunk. And between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., every one in seven drivers is drunk.
That’s not to say drunk driving is common. However, there are many arrests for it annually that are wrongful or incorrect. In fact, breathalyzer tests can vary at least 15% from actual blood alcohol concentration (BAC). And one in four people tested will have a blood alcohol concentration reading that’s higher than their actual BAC.
There are actually a few testing methods other than the breathalyzer test. You may be asked to give a blood sample or have a urine or breath analysis. The arresting officer will often decide whether or not these tests are required based on the field sobriety test.
What Happens After You’re Arrested for a DUI?
In North Dakota, you will be arrested at the scene if your blood alcohol concentration reads higher than .08%. If you’re operating a commercial vehicle, the legal blood alcohol level threshold is set lower at .04%. If you’re a minor under the age of 21, you can be arrested for a DUI if your blood alcohol content level is above .02%. The .02% accounts for any medications that may affect BAC. However, in general, .02% is one drink. If a minor has one drink, they could face DUI charges.
For your first offense, you’ll be sentenced to up to 30 days of jail time and will have to pay a fine of between $500 and $1,500. For a second or third offense, these fines will be increasingly higher. Your license will also be suspended after even a first DUI offense. If you fail the breathalyzer test, your license will be suspended for 91 days. If your blood alcohol level is .18% or higher, you’ll face a 180-day license suspension. Additionally, if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test when asked by a law enforcement officer, you’ll face a 180-day revocation of your driver’s license.
Contesting the Suspension of Your License After a DUI
You may contest the suspension of your license after being arrested for a DUI. This is done by submitting a drivers license administrative hearing request through the North Dakota Department of Transportation. However, the hearing request must be made within 10 days of your arrest. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to get started as soon as possible.
You should begin by looking for a North Dakota DUI criminal defense attorney who can help argue your side and request an administrative hearing as soon as possible. If you do not request an administrative hearing within 10 days, you waive your right to contest your license suspension. After requesting a hearing, the hearing must occur within 30 days of the DUI arrest.
What to Expect at Your Administrative Hearing
During your administrative hearing, counsel on both sides will look over all elements of the case, ensuring that protocol was followed. Your attorney will verify that all protocol for the stop, testing, and arrest were properly followed by law enforcement. Additionally, your attorney will argue in favor of your due process rights, including that you were read your Miranda Rights before you were arrested. Both sides will have the opportunity to present any new information from the occurrence. Then, the presiding judge will decide whether or not your license should remain suspended or not.
If the Administrative Hearing is in Your Favor
If the administrative hearing is in your favor, you can expect to have your license reinstated. You may still have to pay fines associated with your arrest and enroll into programs such as the 24/7 sobriety program. This all depends on your case and how the judge decides to handle your request. For some people who are wrongfully arrested or whose due process is violated, charges may be dropped altogether.
If the Administrative Hearing is not in Your Favor
If the administrative hearing is not in your favor, your attorney can help you file an appeal with the court to have your results looked over again. This will give you a second chance at an approval for the reversal of your suspension. Your attorney can also help you apply for a work permit 30 days after your arrest, allowing you special permissions to drive, but only when going to or coming from work. Work permits are often only given out to those who were arrested with lower BAC levels and those who don’t seem to be at risk of repeating the offense.
Contact a North Dakota DUI Defense Attorney Today
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in North Dakota, contact our experienced DUI defense team. We have years of experience defending those who have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Hiring an attorney will make your administrative hearing much smoother. And we can also help you dispute your arrest altogether, avoiding the jail time and payment of fees alongside the reversal of your license’s suspension. For more information, please contact us online, using our chat feature, or by calling us at 701-609-1510.