Several states have passed laws that allow the police to administratively suspend people’s drivers’ licenses. This means that a police officer can pull you over and begin levying punishments before there has been any investigation, trial or conviction. Administrative suspension allows the police to immediately begin punishing drunk drivers.
A police officer can administratively suspend your license only if you refuse to submit to the Breathalyzer. Most states justify this under the “implied consent” theory, which means all drivers impliedly consent to agreeing to a Breathalyzer by virtue of driving their cars.
But all is not lost, most laws will also require the police officer to issue a temporary permit. This permit will allow you to drive to work and to the courthouse but nowhere else. So you are not stranded and unable to get to work. Typically, these driving permits may last up to 90 days.
What happens if you are found not guilty? That does not matter because you still refused the Breathalyzer. Losing your license has nothing to do with whether or not you were drunk. You could have been dead sober, refused the breathalyzer test and your license would still be suspended.
If you are facing a criminal trial for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs then you should probably speak to a defense attorney as soon as possible. Most first time offenders can avoid jail or prison time but that depends upon the circumstances of the arrest and their criminal record. But just because you are avoiding time behind bars, does not mean that you won’t face serious consequences. The police have a number of penalties they can levy against you including license suspension, damage to your reputation and a felony on your permanent record. An attorney can defend your rights and try to negotiate a fair deal for you.