If you are charged with Operating While Intoxicated, one of the first questions most drivers ask is, “will my license be suspended?”
In OWI cases, the court will suspend a person’s driver’s license pre-trial for two reasons:
- You had a BAC of .08 or higher; or
- You refused to submit to a chemical test.
If you had a BAC of .08 or higher, the BMV is required to suspend your license for 180 days or until the case is disposed of, whichever occurs first. A case is disposed by either a dismissal, plea agreement, or trial verdict. If your license is suspended for this reason, the BMV is required to send notice of the suspension and you have an opportunity for judicial review. As an alternative, you are eligible for specialized driving privileges. Another alternative is for the court to enter an order requiring an ignition interlock device until the case is disposed, instead of a suspension.
A chemical test refusal will result in mandatory license suspension for one (1) year. If the person has a prior conviction for OWI, the suspension period is for two (2) years. The suspension will not terminate upon disposition. Any post-conviction suspension imposed by the court will not begin until the refusal suspension period has ended. This suspension is only eligible for specialized driving privileges if the motor vehicle is equipped with a motor-certified ignition interlock device.
However, the court has the ability to terminate a refusal suspension at any time. This is where you benefit from hiring a law firm that knows your rights and will fight for them. Under Indiana law, the court may terminate all or any part of a refusal suspension. At Stracci Law Group, we will file a Petition for Prompt Judicial Review of your license suspension whenever the facts support it.
If you are convicted of an OWI, and you have no prior OWI convictions, the court may suspend your license from anywhere from zero (0) to sixty (60) days of Class C Misdemeanor offenses and up to 365 days for Class A Misdemeanor offenses.
If you have a prior OWI conviction, the court must suspend your license for one (1) year and may suspend for up to the maximum allowable time period, of conviction for the offense charged.