Lifetime Suspension of Driver's License

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Can a Driver's License Be Suspended for Life?

The saying that "driving is a privilege, not a right" has been around as long as it has because it is true. In many states, driving privileges can be suspended for life if the driver is a habitual DUI offender, or commits an irresponsible act that rises to a heinous, aggravated level.

When Can a Driver's Licenses Be Suspended for Life?

  1. Habitual Drunk Driving - For repeat DUI offenders, a lifetime suspension of driver’s license may result from a 3rd or 4th D.U.I. conviction, depending on state. However, even after a lifetime suspension, a driver may apply for a “hardship” permit in order to get to and from work, buy groceries, and other household chores. For this purpose, the driver must purchase and install an ignition interlock device, which is a computerized breath analyzer needed to start the car.
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  3. Dangerous Driving - There are other irresponsible and reckless acts that also may result in a lifetime suspension of a driver’s license. For example, incidents with vehicles that result in death or bodily injury may invoke other crimes that carry a potential lifetime ban on driving privileges, such as:

  4. Combination of Drugs and Dangerous Crimes - Alternatively, combining the above crimes with other offenses may result in a lifetime suspension of driver’s license, including:

The aggregation of these crimes can result in a permanent suspension of drivers’ license. 

Are There Any Other Considerations?

The court will follow the state’s sentencing guidelines, but will also take nearly every circumstance into account when determining whether a lifetime suspension of driver’s license is proper. However, because driving is needed to participate in the economic and social life of the United States, drivers’ licenses are not often suspended for life absent extreme circumstances. It is far more common to receive a suspension of 10 years.

Should I Seek Legal Advice?

A single DUI carries severe penalties, and repeat offenses carry increased penalties. If you have a DUI and are facing another DUI conviction, it would be wise to speak with a criminal defense lawyer immediately. An attorney can explain to you the laws of your area, what penalties you may face, and the various approaches you can take in defending your case.

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Last Modified: 07-22-2014 08:30 AM PDT

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