No matter what kind of sentence you receive for a first-time DWI conviction, Louisiana law states you will lose your driver’s license for a while, usually 90 days. However, this does not necessarily mean you will have to ride a bicycle, take the bus or get your friends and family to drive you around for the next few months. In most cases, you may have the opportunity to get at least some of your driving privileges back.
Asking for your license back
After your conviction and sentencing for a standard DWI with no prior convictions, you have the right to petition the OMV to reinstate your license. A hearing will be held in which an OMV administrative officer will examine the evidence against you and give you and your attorney a chance to submit evidence in your defense. The officer will then decide whether to overturn your license suspension and restore your driving privileges. If they decide in your favor, they will probably require you to pay for an ignition interlock device for your vehicle. This is a device that requires you to blow into it before you can start the engine. If the device detects even a small amount of alcohol on your breath, it will not let you start the car. You might also have to pay an administrative fee.
If the OMV officer upholds the suspension, your next step is to apply for a hardship license that allows you to drive to specific places only, such as your job or school. In addition, you would have to install an ignition interlock, obtain special auto insurance and pay a fee for the license. While not ideal, a hardship license can at least help you keep your job and some level of independence if granted.
Find out when you might get to drive again
A DWI conviction does not always have to cost you your independence or your job. Discuss your concerns with a DWI defense attorney to learn about your options for getting your driving privileges back before your suspension ends.