Every year in America, thousands of people are injured or killed by drunk drivers. Because the consequences of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol can be tragic, most states have instituted harsh penalties for people caught operating a vehicle under the influence. The state of Virginia is no different.
In Virginia, if you are caught driving while intoxicated, you can expect heavy fines, possible jail time and the loss or suspension of your license. For folks who need a vehicle for work and to perform other necessary tasks, losing the right to drive can make life very difficult. Fortunately, in many cases people are granted restricted driving privileges, which allow them to drive to court-sanctioned places at certain times.
How do I get a restricted license in Virginia?
Both the Court and the DMV have the right to grant restricted driving privileges. However, the DMV can only issue restricted driving privileges under certain circumstances. If you’ve had your license suspended by the DMV for violating Driver Improvement Probation, and it’s your first violation of probation or your second violation after an 18-month control period, then the DMV can issue you a restricted driving license. For all other violations, you will have to deal with the court.
Here are more details about obtaining a restricted driving license in Virginia:
Eligibility. People who have lost their license because of DUI, drug possession, traffic violations, reckless driving, speeding, or a failure to pay fines are eligible to petition the court for a restricted license. The length of time you must wait after your conviction to apply can vary depending on the nature of the offense. Also, it’s worth noting that professional drivers who have lost their CDL are not eligible for restricted driving privileges with commercial vehicles.
The process. To petition the court for a restricted license, you will have to first turn in your regular license and fill out paperwork with the clerk of the court. You also need to prove that you need the restricted license. This often means providing documents that demonstrate why you must drive, such as a note from your employer or a child custody agreement.
Where can I drive? A restricted driver’s license can grant you the right to operate a vehicle to travel to and from work, school, medical treatments and alcohol rehabilitation programs, or to visit a child or transport a minor who is under your care to and from school, day care, or medical appointments.
Requirements. Many courts will not issue a restricted license until all obligations have been met. This sometimes includes paying fines and registering for driving safety courses.
If you wish to obtain a restricted driver’s license, it’s important to act quickly and remember that having an experienced DUI attorney on your side to help you navigate the legal process can be a huge help.
Get help from a knowledgeable Virginia drunk driving defense attorney
At The NoVa Law Firm, we have years of experiencing protecting the rights of our clients while providing compassionate and professional legal assistance. If you have been charged with a DUI and need help petitioning the court for a restricted license, give us a call today at (703) 352-9347 or contact us online to consult with one our seasoned attorneys.