We’ve been reflecting in our last couple posts on alcohol testing, test refusal, license suspension and license suspension hearings in our last couple posts. Those facing a license suspension should, as we noted, understand their right to request a hearing and act as quickly as possible in making that request.
In terms of the hearing itself, the basic idea is that the driver is given the opportunity to make his or her case for why there should not be a license suspension or that the suspension should be modified. Only certain issues are allowed to be brought up in the hearing.
These issues include:
- Whether there were reasonable grounds to believe the individual was driving under the influence of alcohol or was impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- Whether there was any evidence of the use of alcohol or drugs
- Whether the officer fully advised the driver of the administrative sanctions prior to administering the test or receiving a refusal
- Whether there was in fact a refusal
- Whether the individual operated or attempted to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 (or 0.15) or more
Because license suspension hearings are not criminal proceedings, the standard of proof in these cases is lower, but it is important to work with an experienced attorney when there are any disputes on these matters. An experienced attorney will be able to advocate for a driver when the evidence supporting the suspension is weak, or when the officer appears to have acted improperly in any way.