Having your license get suspended is pretty common after getting a DUI. However, DUI suspensions can last for quite some time. What if you need some limited use of your car in the meantime? This is where a hardship license comes in. These temporary licenses can help you still get through the day-to-day while your license is suspended…
Hardship License: Purpose and Conditions
What they do
A hardship license gives a driver with a suspended license temporary driving privileges. Usually, this is due to the driver needing to use their car to get to places like work, school, or medical care. A court or the DMV can also grant one if the driver needs to attend court-ordered treatments or community service.
However, these licenses don’t restore all driving privileges. They are often quite strict about what times the person can drive and where they can go. Violations can be quite costly and could lead to jail time.
Obtaining a license
To obtain a hardship license, a driver must first apply and request a hearing. If the judge grants a hearing, then the driver has to make a case for why they should receive a temporary driving privilege. While the prosecutor’s office can make an argument against this, it ultimately comes down to the judge’s decision.
However, before a hearing can happen, a driver should make sure they’re eligible for a hardship license. There are a few general requirements drivers should keep in mind. Usually, if the driver had a valid license at the time of their DUI, had no recent prior or repeat DUI offenses, and have taken a substance abuse assessment, then they can file for one.
There are some additional requirements for a hardship license for “high-risk” drivers. These are drivers whose BAC was at .15% or higher during their DUI offense. For example, their limited driving privileges might not begin until 45 days after their conviction.
These drivers might also have to install an ignition interlock device on their cars as well. These devices require a driver to blow into them to check their BAC levels before their car will start. Many of these devices will prevent the car from starting if a driver’s BAC is at .01% or .02%.