One of the most common concerns we hear from our clients is the fear of losing their license due to the implied consent suspension imposed after their DUI arrest. A lot of our clients rely on their driving privileges for work, school, or other important family duties. And some of them have never been without a vehicle so they’re not familiar with other transportation methods. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed wondering how to navigate a license suspension with the least amount of impact on your day-to-day life.
The hard truth is that there is no guaranteed way to avoid the implied consent suspension. However, you do have a chance to prevent the suspension by requesting a DMV administrative hearing. You will not be penalized or increase the length of your suspension if you request a hearing. Even if you lose the hearing, your suspension period does not change. Because of this, there is absolutely no downside to requesting a hearing.
In some instances, however, requesting a hearing is not an option because the deadline has passed. Or perhaps the hearing took place, and the suspension was ultimately affirmed. Whether you’re driving privileges are already suspended, or you are preparing for that outcome, we have put together a list of resources to help you navigate the implied consent suspension.
A hardship permit allows you to operate a non-commercial motor vehicle, if your driver’s license is suspended after a DUI citation. A hardship permit gives you limited driving privileges for such things as going to and from work or your treatment classes. There are waiting periods before you can apply for hardship permit. These time periods can range anywhere from 30 days to three years. Some circumstances allow you to apply right away, without having to wait. It’s always best to discuss this with your attorney so you know what options are applicable to your unique situation.
A lot of our clients have shared that the suspension gave them a great reason to get their bike tuned up and start cycling again. But if you’re not used to riding a bike around town, it might make you feel good to know that Oregon is the second most cycling friendly state in the US, right behind Washington! Which means there are plenty of cheap bike shops to help you get set up without breaking the bank. Bikes for Humanity has been known to offer low-cost and even free bikes to the community. The Bike Farm is another great option for low-cost bicycles as well as courses on bike repair and bike safety. And, PBOT has put together a list of bike resources on a budget, so you can find all the necessary gear to help keep you safe while you begin your biking adventures.
Portland has 10th best public transit system in the nation. And some of our clients have shared that switching to public transit was a pleasant experience. You can take your headphones and get lost in your favorite book, or even get some work done. If you’re in the Portland area, the TriMet bus system covers the city and its suburbs thoroughly and offers low fares. TriMet also offers the Hop Fastpass, an electronic-fare payment system. Hop cards can be purchased for $3 at the TriMet Information Center in Pioneer Courthouse Square (as well as local retailers and grocery stores). And the best part is that you can plan your trip ahead of time so you can easily map out your commute.
By now most of us are familiar with ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft. What you might not know, however, is that both companies offer membership passes that provide discounted ride services. Uber’s member pass is only $15 a month and saves you 10% on all rides. The Lyft Pink membership is $20 a month and saves you 15% on all rides. Plus, with the Lyft membership, you get three free 30-min. bike or scooter rides per month, which is another option for commuting. Additionally, each of these services have a less expensive ‘carpool’ option, which can reduce the cost of your trip as well.
If none of the methods above are an option for you, you can always ask a co-worker, who lives in your area, if you can carpool with them. This doesn’t mean that you must disclose the fact that you are dealing with a DUI arrest. As a suggestion, you can simply let them know that you are waiting to resolve a license issue without getting into many details. And you can offer to pitch in for gas or treat to breakfast or lunch. Perhaps you can combine this option with one of the methods above. Coordinate a schedule where you ride the bus and/or bike once a week, use Uber or Lyft once a week, and carpool with a co-worker only twice per week.
If you’re facing a DUI (or DUII) charge in Oregon, call Reynolds Defense Firm today. Our team has the expertise to handle your criminal case and the understanding to help you on the human-side as well. We hope that you never need to call us, but if you do, we are here. You can contact us for your free consultation by filling out the form on our website or by calling us at 503-549-4590.