Driving After A DUI: Check Out These Two Solutions

After being charged with driving under the influence (DUI), you might find your driving privileges removed very quickly. In some cases, your license is automatically suspended and may not be reinstated for months, even if you are eventually found innocent of DUI. You have some options after a DUI, but you will probably need a criminal defense DUI lawyer to help you exercise those options. Read on to find out more about a hardship drivers' license and ignition interlock devices.

Hardship Driver's License

Many of those charged with DUI will be released on bail and can return to their families and their lives while awaiting trial. Unfortunately, that may be difficult to manage without a driver's license. Since you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, you can ask the judge to approve a special, limited driving license. Known as a "hardship" license, this allows drivers to temporarily attend to work, medical needs, food shopping, taking children to school, and other essential duties. Hardship licenses are not handed out to everyone. Defendants must demonstrate that they deserve it and have a need for it. In most cases, a hardship license restricts drivers to certain hours of the day and to certain locations. If you need one, speak to your criminal law attorney. If you are approved for such a license, you may also have an additional restriction on your driving: the ignition interlock device.

Ignition Interlock Device

A condition of the hardship license may be the installation of an ignition interlock device. You will need to pay for this device to be installed (and removed when the time comes) along with a monitoring fee. These devices get installed on the ignition and the driver has to blow into a tube to unlock the ignition. The device acts as a portable breathalyzer and provides the driver and their probation officer with a blood alcohol concentration measurement. If any amount of alcohol is detected, the vehicle won't start. After the vehicle starts, periodic notifications require the driver to test their blood alcohol levels repeatedly.

The above should not be considered punishment — but not because they aren't punitive. Rather, they are just a way to enjoy driving privileges while the DUI case progresses. In some cases, the above are used as punishment for defendants found guilty of DUI, however. When the alternative is no way to legally drive at all, the benefits become clear. To find out more, speak to a criminal defense law attorney.