Before 2015, if you lived in Rhode Island and received a DUI charge or refused to take a breathalyzer test, it would have been pretty much impossible for you to continue driving. Fortunately, the law changed that year. This does not mean that you are free and clear to drive. But it does open a door for you to drive: it gives you the possibility of obtaining a hardship license.
What is a hardship license?
This term refers to a driver’s license that is issued once your license has been suspended. It allows you to drive for up to 12 hours per day. The trips you may make with it include those that take you to and from work, trips to important appointments such as to doctor’s offices, therapy sessions or pharmacy medicine pickups. Also, you may drive to court-approved places.
What other requirements are there?
To qualify for this license, you must:
- Have been sentenced by a judge due to a DUI or refusal charge
- Provide proof of employment and required hours
- Provide further proof in case of medical appointments or treatments
- Have an ignition interlock device installed in your car
What exactly is an ignition interlock device?
A hardship license in Rhode Island goes hand-in-hand with having an ignition interlock device installed in the car that the owner of this license will be driving. This device is easily installed in the car and it prevents the driver from using the vehicle until a breath alcohol test is taken.
Once the device is installed it must be calibrated and serviced on a regular basis. Its purpose is to register the amount of alcohol in the conductor’s breath and not allow the car to start if it is over a certain limit.
The device is pre-set with a specific alcohol level amount tolerance, beyond which the car will not start. This level is determined by the legal requirements set by the state. Some of these devices are equipped with cameras that aid in reporting what is happening in real-time.
Where can you get an ignition interlock device?
If you get a hardship license and you have been ordered by the court to install an ignition interlock device, there are several authorized dealers that offer this product.
How is the hardship license granted?
If you have received a DUI and lost your license, you must prove to the judge or magistrate at a hearing that you would suffer hardship if you are not allowed to drive. You must provide the necessary documentation to make clear to the authorities how not driving would impact your life. If the judge approves your case, you will only be allowed to use your car for hardship-approved routes and times.
Not all drivers that get their licenses suspended are eligible to receive a hardship license. This is why, if you have had your driving privileges revoked and have lost your license, you should approach an experienced lawyer.
You need to have a competent lawyer to help you put together the needed documents to get the hardship license. Make your initial appointment today to discuss your case in connection with a drunk driving incident and get help after a DUI. Explain to your attorney the circumstances that lead you to have your license revoked.