Does the Court Impose Driver’s License Penalties?
Interviewer: I agree. So, specifically, what are the driver’s license penalties that the court is going to impose that the DMV doesn’t for a first time offense?
Aaron: The court does not impose any driver’s license penalties. Sometimes on multiple offenses they will say you need to have an ignition interlock device per DMV’s requirements, or they will say you must get an ignition interlock device and fill out these forms and then get these into the court to show that you’ve done it on any vehicle that you have.
But the court doesn’t handle the suspending of the license. That’s all been put in the hands of DMV. You will receive your penalty in court. The court clerk’s office reports it to DMV. DMV sends you a letter and says what your license penalties are.
Interviewer: Do the court’s findings influence the DMV?
Aaron: No, it should not influence the DMV because it’s a different burden of proof and because there are different elements they’re looking at. In court cases, what they’re claiming and what they need to be able to prove is that you were driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol or their combined influences, or that you were driving with a 0.08 blood alcohol level in your system.
Those are the elements that have to be proven in court. At DMV they’re different, and at DMV, remember, that they have to have the reasonable cause as issue number one to believe that you’re in violation of the DUI laws, that you’re lawfully arrested, and at the time of driving, and you were at 0.08 or greater.
So there are different burdens of proof, and they’re different. So if you lose in court, it doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically lose at DMV. Sometimes we win one, sometimes we win the other, sometimes we win both, and sometimes we will win neither.
By Aaron Bortel
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