Restricted Driver’s License After DUI

Regain Your Right to Drive After DUI Conviction

Driving is how most of us get to work, school, events, appointments, and many other activities. The idea of losing your driving privileges for an entire year after a DUI conviction is daunting, but there may be options. If it is your first DUI conviction, it is possible to obtain a restricted license.

What is a Restricted License?

When your license is revoked after a DUI conviction, you are not permitted to drive in Virginia at all. Easing that revocation is always beneficial, but drivers must keep in mind they are legally limited to the following driving permissions:

  • Driving to and from work during work hours
  • Driving to and from school
  • Driving to and from medical treatment
  • Driving to and from VASAP (Alcohol Safety Action Program)
  • Driving to and from religious services
  • Driving to and from job interviews
  • Driving to and from court-ordered child visitation periods

Your restricted license may have different constraints than these, so it is important to review your paperwork to ensure you fully understand your freedom and limitations. Once granted, the restricted license is usually in effect for the remainder of your license suspension, but you should review your paperwork to confirm the expiration date.

A restricted driver’s license will not help commercial drivers keep their CDL.

How do I Qualify for a Restricted License After a DUI in Virginia?

You are eligible for a restricted driver’s license in Virginia upon a DUI conviction. If you already have a DUI on your record, you may not receive approval of restricted driving privileges immediately, though.Many times the judge will require that the ASAP office interview you first and make a recommendation to the court regarding whether to allow a restricted license at that time.

A person must file a motion for the court to grant a restricted license, though the judge is not obligated to grant it. Again, in cases with extreme BAC issues (.15 and higher) or in cases where the conviction is a person’s 2nd or subsequent DUI conviction, some judges in Northern Virginia may wait 30 or 60 days into the license revocation to permit restricted privileges. In some cases, the law requires a waiting period of 120 days or even 12 months!

The application and motion for the court to grant you a restricted license is available online, but it is more complicated than it seems. After applying through the court clerk’s office you may have to request authorization from the judge, and appear before the judge in open court to make your request. Reinstating your license following revocation or suspension involves a different process. In that case, you simply need to report to the DMV and pay a reinstatement fee.

Professional, Respected Legal Counsel on Your Side

At The NoVa Law Firm, we fight to beat, not plead down, all the criminal charges against you. Our office is a five-minute walk from the Fairfax County Courthouse and just minutes from Arlington, Alexandria, Prince William and Loudoun County courts. Call us at (703) 352-9347 or contact us online today.

Eric Clingan
About the Author: Eric Clingan
Eric Clingan is an experienced Criminal Defense attorney and the founder of the NoVA Law firm. He focuses his practice on defending residents of Northern Virginia charged with DUIs, reckless driving, drug charges, and other criminal accusations.