A license suspension is pretty common after a DUI. Still, these suspensions can last for a pretty long time. However, if you need to drive for specific reasons, then you may want to look at a hardship license. That way, you can still handle your day-to-day needs even with a suspension…

Hardship License: Driving After A DUI

How they work

A hardship license is a special, temporary license someone with a suspended regular license can get. These licenses will grant them temporary driving privileges for specific reasons. For example, it could be that a person needs to drive to get to work, school, or to receive medical care. A court or the DMV may also grant one to allow a driver to attend court-ordered treatment and community service.

However, it’s important to remember that these licenses do not restore all normal driving privileges. Rather, they have very strict requirements on how and when they can be used. Violations could result in heavy penalties and even jail time.

Getting a license

In order to get a hardship license, a driver has to first apply for one and request a hearing. If the judge grants the hearing, then the driver can make their case as to why they need this kind of license. While the prosecutor’s office can argue against it, it ultimately comes down to the judge to make a decision.

Still, a driver should make sure they’re eligible for a hardship license before requesting a hearing. There are a few general requirements they’ll want to make sure they look over. In general, if the driver had a valid license at the time of the DUI, had no past DUI offenses, and have undergone substance abuse treatment, they can apply for one.

Extra requirements

For drivers who are seen as “high-risk”, there’s a few extra requirements they may need to follow for their hardship license. It could be that they need to wait at least 45 days before they can apply for one. Or, their car may have an ignition interlock device installed, in order to check their BAC levels before they try to drive.

While a hardship license can be handy for those who need it, they’re obviously not ideal. It’s always good to avoid a DUI as much as possible. Instead of getting behind the wheel while drunk, look for alternative ways to get home safely.