A DUI carries several severe consequences, one of which being the suspension or revocation of your driving privileges. Interestingly, you could lose your driver's license in a DUI-related matter whether or not you have been convicted of driving under the influence. Refusing a blood or breath chemical test can also result in this sanction. Without the ability to drive, you may face challenges when trying to take care of essential tasks, such as going to work or school or traveling to medical appointments. Fortunately, you can seek a Virginia restricted license, which, if granted, will allow you to operate a vehicle under specific circumstances.
The process for obtaining a restricted license in VA can be complicated. If you do not provide the proper proof or persuasively present your case, the court might deny your request. For legal assistance seeking a restricted driver's license, reach out to Tillotson & Martin today. We have over 40 years of combined experience and are well-versed in the laws and processes concerning these cases. Recognizing the importance of being allowed to legally drive on Virginia roads, we will work diligently toward a favorable decision on your behalf.
Schedule a free consultation by calling us at (757) 568-7978 or contacting us online today.
What Is a Restricted License?
A Virginia restricted license affords those whose driver's licenses have been suspended or revoked because of a DUI-related matter the opportunity to maintain driving privileges in a limited capacity. Note that a restricted driver's license does not fully restore driving privileges, nor does it end the suspension or revocation period. It is merely a means to allow the individual to take care of necessities while they are under disability.
If the court grants a Virginia restricted license, the individual may be able to drive:
- To and from work
- During working hours
- To and from Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) meetings
- To and from school
- To and from medical appointments
- With an ignition interlock device installed
- A minor child
- To and from child visitation
- To and from court, probation, or court-ordered programs
- To and from a place of worship
- To and from child support programs
- To and from jail or work release
Do You Lose Your Driver's License Automatically After a DUI?
In a DUI-related matter, you could lose your driver's license in two ways. One way occurs before the criminal case has been decided, which, in a way, can be considered an automatic suspension or revocation of driving privileges. The other occurs after a conviction.
Loss of Driving Privileges After Chemical Test Refusal
Under Virginia's implied consent law, anyone operating a vehicle on public roads and arrested for driving under the influence has been deemed to have given permission to be subject to a breath or blood test (Virginia Code § 18.2-268.2). The chemical test is used to determine the level of drugs and/or alcohol in a person's system.
The driver may refuse to provide a blood or breath sample for analysis. However, doing so is a violation of the implied consent law.
At the time of an unreasonable refusal, the arresting officer will inform the driver that:
- They have given implicit consent to be subject to a chemical test because they were arrested for DUI;
- Refusal to participate in the test can be used as evidence in the criminal case; and
- Unreasonable refusal may result in a revocation of driving privileges;
The first time a driver unreasonably refuses a DUI chemical test, the court may suspend their driving privileges for 1 year. A second refusal within 10 years of a previous will result in driver's license suspension for 3 years after being convicted of the offense.
Loss of Driving Privileges After a DUI Conviction
Driver's license suspension or revocation may be triggered upon a driving under the influence conviction.
The suspension/revocation periods are as follows:
- First offense: 1-year suspension
- Second offense: 3-year suspension
- Third or subsequent offense or felony DUI: Revocation for an indefinite period
Can You Get a Restricted License in VA After a DUI?
Generally, you can get a Virginia restricted license after a DUI. However, not everyone with a suspended license is eligible for a restricted license. In fact, eligibility varies based on the severity of the initial offense. For example, someone who was involved in a DUI hit and run will likely not be eligible for a restricted license. If you had a commercial driver's license (CDL) and that was suspended, you cannot get a restricted license allowing you to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Learn more about specific guidelines here.
When applying for a Virginia restricted license, you have to provide proof that you need to get to and from a specific location, like work. Additionally, the court may order that an ignition interlock device must be installed in your vehicle in order for you to get a restricted license.
“Any Purpose” Restricted License
Law changes as recent as July 2021 have loosened the limitations on restricted licenses. An “any purpose” restricted license allows the driver to travel anywhere as long as they have an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
For more information about the new restricted license laws for DUI offenders, clickhere.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Restricted License in VA?
Before you can apply for a Virginia restricted license, you must wait the appropriate time periods. For example, if you committed a first offense chemical test refusal, you cannot petition the court for a restricted driver's license until 40 days after the conviction (Virginia Code § 18.2-268.3 (E)). If you were convicted of a third or subsequent DUI, you cannot petition the court for a restricted license until after 3 years.
At Tillotson & Martin, our team can review with you all the requirements necessary to seek a restricted license. We will let you know what steps you must follow, what paperwork you must file, when you can petition, and what the court will be looking at when reviewing your request.
What Do You Need to Do for a Restricted License in VA?
Before you petition for a Virginia restricted license, you must gather the appropriate proof to justify why you need limited driving privileges. Once you have the documentation you need, you can submit an application to the court.
If the court grants your request, it may order the following:
- Installation of an ignition interlock device on vehicles registered in your name
- Not operate vehicles without an ignition interlock device installed
- Completion of an alcohol safety action program
If you are granted a restricted license in VA but fail to adhere to the conditions the court set, you may be charged with an offense.
Virginia’s DUI Lawyers
Being convicted of DUI can severely limit your freedom. Even with a restricted license, you are unable to go wherever you want, whenever you want. You want to do everything in your power to avoid a DUI conviction and avoid the inconvenience of a restricted license. At Tillotson & Martin, LLC, we are experts in the field of DUI and we have what it takes to win. Call our Virginia DUI lawyers at (757) 568-7978 to see what we can do for you.
Call us at (757) 568-7978 or submit an online contact form.
We Wrote the Book.We were tasked with writing the book on Virginia DUI Law by Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the leading authority in legal publishing. Prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges often turn to this resource.
We Possess the Knowledge.Not only are our attorneys committed to attending continued education courses, they lecture and teach courses themselves. In a field as scientific and technical as DUI Defense, keeping our knowledge up to date is crucial to crafting our clients' defense strategies.
We Truly Care.Mike Tillotson & Jeff Martin go the extra mile for their clients. Our team realizes that this is your future at stake and we will employ every strategy to ensure that we are providing you with the best representation possible.
We Have the Fight to Win.With nearly 40 years of combined experience, Mike Tillotson and Jeff Martin have successfully handled thousands of DUI cases, and has tried cases across the entire state of Virginia.
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