Can the police take my license before my trial if I am charged with DUI/DWI?

alcohol & keys

Yes, for most DUI/DWI charges, police must take your driver’s license for seven days for a first offense, sixty days for a second offense, and until trial for three times and more. BUT Virginia law enforcement officers cannot take an out of state driver’s license, and a skilled DUI/DWI attorney may be able to get a Virginia license back sooner.

Va. Code §46.2-391.2 allows Virginia law enforcement officers, like state troopers, county sheriffs and city police, to administratively suspend a driver’s license for different lengths of time depending on how many DUI/DWI convictions the driver has. The law enforcement officer gives the driver a notice of suspension of the privilege to drive and then takes the driver’s license if (1) the driver is arrested for a DUI/DWI offense, (2) the driver’s blood-alcohol content (BAC), measured by a breath or blood test is over .08 percent for a driver 21 and older, or over .02 percent for a driver under 21, or (3) if the driver refuses to take a breath or blood test. So, in almost every situation where a driver is charged with DUI/DWI, the driver loses his or her license for at least seven days.

For drivers who have DUI/DWI convictions in the past, the mandatory suspension can be a lot longer than seven days. BUT a court can review the pretrial suspension and decide to shorten it or completely end it. Those drivers should look for a skilled DUI/DWI attorney to represent them in a pretrial suspension review. Courts schedule pretrial suspension reviews ahead of almost every other case, so it is possible to get a license back quickly. The court may end the suspension if the driver can prove that it is more likely than not (preponderance of the evidence) that the law enforcement officer did not have enough evidence to arrest the driver (probable cause) for DUI/DWI. If the judge believes there was not enough evidence, the suspension may be lifted.

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