WI DUI License Suspension Review Hearings

WARNING: YOU HAVE 10 DAYS TO REQUEST AN ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW TO AVOID AUTOMATIC SUSPENSION!

If you do not request an administrative review hearing within the first ten days after your DUI charge, you will lose the right to challenge your license suspension with the Department of Transportation. Requesting an Administrative Review Hearing is an essential first step to fighting your DUI charge and protecting your rights.

What is a Wisconsin Administrative Suspension?

If you have been charged with a DUI, the police are required to report the results of your blood alcohol concentration to the Department of Transportation and take possession of your Driver’s License.  The officer is obligated to inform the driver of the administrative suspension process and provide a notice form.  The Notice of Intent to Revoke form explains that the driver’s operating privilege has been administratively suspended and that they have the right to administrative and judicial review of the suspension.  The notice also serves as a thirty (30) day temporary license.  If an Administrative Review Hearing is not requested, the accused driver will summarily lose their license after the thirty (30) day temporary license terminates.

How to Request an Administrative Review Hearing

In addition to a notice form, the arrested motorist will receive a form indicating how to request an administrative review of their suspended license.  THIS FORM MUST BE SUBMITTED WITHIN TEN (10) DAYS of the notice date (stated on the Notice of Intent to Revoke form), otherwise the driver’s opportunity for an administrative hearing will be deemed waived.  If no such request is made, the license suspension takes effect thirty (30) days after the date on which notification of administrative suspension was provided to the driver.  Depending on the type of chemical testing conducted, lab results can significantly delay the notification of administrative suspension.  Regardless, it is imperative to take action promptly when cited for an OWI offense.

Why are Administrative Hearings Important?

An Administrative Review Hearing is an informal opportunity for you and your DUI Defense Attorney to fight for your driving privileges and get an initial idea of what some potential issues will be regarding your defense.  The arresting officer must provide the hearing examiner with a copy of the police report and the chemical-test results, however police officers need not appear at the hearing unless subpoenaed.  Having a skilled DUI Defense Attorney who is trained in field sobriety testing is crucial, especially in the questioning of arresting officers as to what tests were performed and how they were conducted.

Hearing examiners need only apply the standard of proof based on reasonable certainty, which is an even lower burden than that used in judicial proceedings (“beyond a reasonable doubt”).  Consequently, this is a very low burden for the Arresting Agency to prove so it is absolutely critical to hire a skilled DUI Defense Attorney.

What Issues are Addressed at Review Hearings?

The following issues are addressed at an Administrative Review Hearing:

1.  Whether the officer had probable cause to believe that the person violated an impaired-driving law and lawfully arrested the person for that violation.

2.  Whether the officer complied with the statutory duty to inform the person about their obligations under the implied consent law.

3.  Whether the person refused to submit to testing requested by the officer.

4.  The correct identity of the person.

5.  Whether each of the test results indicates the person had a prohibited alcohol concentration or a detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in his or her blood.

6.  Whether the person was driving or operating a commercial motor vehicle when the offense allegedly occurred.

7.  Whether the driver had a valid prescription for methamphetamine or one of its metabolic precursors.

Other Questions about Administrative Hearings?

If you have any questions regarding Administrative Review Process or Hearing please contact the Milwaukee DUI Attorneys at Vanden Heuvel & Dineen, S.C.