Over the last few years, the rules for challenging an administrative suspension for a DUI have been changing rapidly. Since 2010, the Legislature has made it increasingly difficult to prevail in getting an accused’s license back. Prior to 2010, when someone was arrested for DUI their license was immediately suspended. At that time an accused had 10 days to request an administrative hearing. At that administrative hearing, an attorney could subpoena the officers involved to get an idea or an understanding as to what happened, and make any constitutional challenges. These challenges include lack of probable cause, or reasonable suspicion. If an officer failed to show and could not provide good reason, the suspension would not be upheld. The major change in 2010 was that if an officer failed to show, the only remedy was to file a separate action to enforce the subpoena. This forced individuals to pay a high filing fee and they still had to wait for a court to make a ruling, which is typically longer than the suspension itself. Thus making it not feasible to challenge.
The new rules in effect July 1, 2013 states that a first time offender can immediately apply for a hardship permit. This change will significantly help an accused keep their license until the Court’s make a ruling in their criminal case. The downside is they may have to waive their right to a formal review hearing which can be useful in a criminal case to determine if there are any constitutional challenges. This trade off is far better than what was in place prior to July 1, 2013.