It is no secret that DUI charges can have persisting consequences on both your personal and professional life. Many people focus on the criminal charges of a DUI, but protecting your license is just as critical as avoiding criminal penalties.
A suspended driver’s license can jeopardize your future just as much as a DUI charge itself. Knowing the facts about license suspension can help anyone dealing with a DUI understand what they are facing as well as how to avoid these consequences.
License suspension rules in New Jersey
After a first-time DUI offense, license suspension could last from three months to a year. That time only increases for repeated DUIs, jumping quickly to two or even ten years.
The period of license suspension varies depending on the circumstances of the situation, but the collateral consequences do not. These consequences include, but are not limited to:
- Higher insurance premiums
- Trouble commuting to work
- Possible job loss as a result
There are financial repercussions as well, especially when it comes to restoring a suspended license.
Steps to restoring a license
Restoring a suspended driver’s license requires a significant amount of payments. It may be necessary to pay:
- The ticket fines
- Any surcharges
- The $100 license restoration fee
However, restoring your license does not necessarily mean you can drive again right away. Drivers with restored licenses might have to complete probationary programs before they can drive again. They may also have to install an ignition interlock device in their car after the probationary period ends.
It is important to note that you should not drive with a suspended license. The consequences could become significantly worse.
Is it possible to prevent license suspension?
Just like a DUI charge, many variables influence license suspension. It is possible to reduce the period and consequences of license suspension—or even avoid it—if you:
- Had a BAC below 0.08%
- Did not hurt anyone
- Do not have a previous DUI
It is possible that judges might allow you to keep your license if a DUI charge was less severe. However, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission may still require a hearing to determine license suspension issues. It may be helpful to request your driving history record from the state as evidence and speak with an experienced attorney before this hearing.
A suspended license does not have to be an inevitable consequence after a DUI charge. There are ways to fight the consequences and preserve your driving privileges, as long as you know what lies ahead.