You need to know about a change in the law regarding taking state chemical tests after being arrested for DUI. This change takes affect on July 1, 2017.

Currently, if you are arrested for DUI and either take the test and register above the legal limit, OR if you refuse the test, your license can be “administratively” suspended for either 4 months (if you take the test) or one year (refusal), prior to ever going to court on the actual DUI charge. You have 10 business days to request a hearing with Drivers Services to try and keep your license from being suspended.

Beginning July 1, this will be the law:

For a 1st DUI arrest in 5 years, whether you take the test or refuse the test, you may opt to obtain an Interlock Ignition Device on your car, which is valid for one year; OR you can opt for a hearing by sending in a request to DDS, along with a $150 fee, within 30 calendar days of the date you receive notice of the officer’s intent to proceed with an administrative hearing.

If you take the test, and opt for a hearing, your license is administratively suspended for 30 days, after which you can get license reinstatement. If you are acquitted of the DUI or the charges are reduced, your limited permit is revoked and your license is reinstated with no fee.

However, if you refuse testing and opt for a hearing, your license could be administratively suspended for a year without any possibility of a limited permit. If you waive your administrative hearing and opt for an Interlock device you can obtain a limited permit for a year. However, if you are acquitted of the DUI or the charges are reduced, you still must maintain an Interlock Device and limited permit for a year.

It appears that law has NOT changed for multiple DUI arrests in 5 years.

While installation and maintenance of Interlock Ignition Devices can be a real pain, this new law does give you the opportunity to either take the test and worst case get a limited permit for 120 days, OR refuse the test and know that you will have a limited permit for a year, regardless of whether you win your case or not.