Can I get a Hardship Permit if My License is Suspended for DUI?
Most likely, the answer is yes. But first we need to determine what type of DUI suspension you’re dealing with. There are several suspensions one can get for a DUI in Oregon.
If this is your first DUI and you failed a breath test (blew a .08 or higher) then DMV will attempt to suspend your license for 90 days. For the sake of this post, we’re not gonna address the DMV or Implied Consent hearing where we have a chance to challenge that suspension. On these 90 day suspensions, you should be eligible for a hardship permit, but DMV has a 30 day waiting period for them. So that means that DMV will only issue the permit for the last 60 days of the suspension and you’ll have find alternate transportation for the first 30 days.
Now same situation, your first DUI, but you refused the breath test. DMV will suspend your license for 1 year, and in this situation, there’s a 90 day waiting period. So on the refusal suspensions, you will not be able to drive at all for the first 90 days of the suspension and until DMV approves your hardship permit application.
If you do Diversion and successfully complete it, there will be no additional suspension. Diversion does not have a suspension.
Let say after you do Diversion, you get another DUI (it happens). Then in addition to the DMV breath test and refusal suspensions, you’re also looking at a 1 year suspension imposed by the court if you are ultimately convicted. Now on these suspensions, there is no official waiting period, but you do have to have the convicting judge sign your hardship application. And most times, these judges want to see that your getting some stuff done before they will sign it. These waiting times vary from county to county.
The problem many people fall in to, is that if they fail a breath test or refuse a breath test within 5 years of a previous breath test failure or suspension, then you’re looking a DMV “enhanced” suspension. These are 1 year for a failure and 3 years for a refusal. THERE IS NO HARDSHIP FOR THESE SUSPENSIONS.
Some people get another DUI that will result in a 2nd conviction. If it is within 5 years of the last conviction, this will result in a 3 year suspension. You would be hardship eligible, but as this is a court suspension, the judge’s signature would be required, and DMV makes you jump through a few more hoops. If it’s outside the 5 year window, then it will just be a 1 year suspension.
Now if you get a 3rd lifetime conviction, then the court will revoke your license for life and there will be no hardship permit. You are eligible to petition the court in 10 years to have your license reinstated.
I think that covers them all.