If you have been convicted of DUI or refusal to submit to a breath or blood test in Tennessee, your driver’s license can be revoked for a period of time. For a first offense, it will be revoked for a year; two years for a second offense.
Even after a conviction, however, you may still have a chance to get a restricted or “hardship” license that would allow you to drive to work or for other limited purposes while your license is revoked. You will not automatically get this, though. You have to apply, and you have to take certain steps before you can get a restricted license:
- Get a signed, certified copy of your court order
- Obtain the SR-22 insurance that will be required
- Install and maintain an ignition interlock device on your car
- Pay all license application and reinstatement fees
There are some situations where you can’t get a restricted license
When might you be denied a restricted license? There are a number of reasons:
- Your DUI offense involved causing death or serious injury to another person.
- You have a prior conviction for vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular assault or aggravated vehicular assault.
- Your license was already revoked or suspended for another reason and you haven’t taken all the proper steps to reinstate it, or you have a violation for which your license cannot be reinstated.
- You have received a license revocation or suspension in another state that has not been addressed.
- The copy of the court order doesn’t contain all the required information or is not signed by the judge.
- The Driver Improvement Section has not approved a restricted license for you.
- Your SR-22 insurance is not for Tennessee or the insurance company is not licensed in Tennessee.
One of the most difficult things about a DUI conviction is the driver’s license revocation. A restricted license can make it much easier to keep your job and complete life’s business. If you are interested in a restricted license, however, there are deadlines you should be aware of. Talk to your defense attorney about getting a restricted license as soon as possible.