What is a Hardship License?

For the last couple years, Rhode Island (in some situations) allows a motorist who is charged with a refusal to submit to a chemical test or a motorist who pleas to a DUI to ask the Court for a hardship license.

When Can I Request a Hardship License?

In regard to a refusal charge, at arraignment or any time after a court order a preliminary suspension of the motorist license, the motorist can request a hardship license. A hardship license will allow a motorist to drive during the period of suspension to and from work. The maximum time is for a twelve-hour period, but many magistrates and judges require specific times within a twelve-hour period. If a motorist gets an interlock installed and the Court grants a hardship license, then and only then can the motorist drive during the suspension.

You may also apply for a hardship license for child activities, medical appointments, and other necessary commitments.

This continues while the refusal is pending. Many times, after admission is made on a refusal charge, the motorist will have a hard loss of license followed by an interlock license. During the initial hard loss of license, the motorist can petition the court for a hardship license or ask for credit from the preliminary suspension. After the hardship time is over, the motorist will go to DMV and get their license reinstated with an interlock provision. This means they can drive 24 hours a day, seven days a week as long as they are driving the vehicle with interlock installed.

When discussing a DUI and hardship license, this usually occurs upon a plea to the DUI charge. As part of the plea agreement, the Rhode Island DUI attorney asks for a hardship license followed by a period of interlock license. This allows the motorist to be able to drive during the entire suspension period.

For example, if you are charged with a DUI (BAC unknown), and the offer to resolve is your case is a minimum sanction. You may be able to have a 90-day straight loss of license where you cannot drive at all or you can ask for a hardship and interlock license. This would allow you to have a hardship license for the first thirty days followed by 90-day interlock period. Many motorists chose to request a hardship and interlock license in order to be able to drive.

To learn more about licensed companies to install interlocks, visit the DMV’s site.

How a Rhode Island DUI Lawyer Can Help

If you are curious to learn more about your legal options, contact Stefanie A. Murphy today. Our Rhode Island criminal defense attorney can help build a strong case to protect your rights.