No matter what time of year it is, Indiana police officers are on the lookout for drivers who break traffic and safety laws. Often when they make a stop, it is because they believe that the driver may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, many of these stops are based on bad information or wrongful beliefs.
Whenever an Indianapolis resident is arrested for suspected drunk driving, they can face a number of consequences. One of those consequences is the loss of their license. This post will examine how and when a driver who has been arrested for drunk driving can have their driver’s license suspended or revoked.
Probable cause and a drunk driving charge
Law enforcement officers look for signs of drunk driving when on patrol. Those signs can range from erratic driving to clear loss of control of a vehicle. Based on those signs they may choose to stop a vehicle on suspicion that its driver is drunk, and if other evidence supports probable cause, the officers may ask the driver to submit to a chemical test to determine their level of intoxication.
Probable cause is not full proof, but enough proof to reasonably believe that a crime has been committed. Unfortunately, an officer may make a stop before discovering the full story behind a driver’s conduct and may assume that the driver is drunk even if they are not.
Losing one’s license because of wrongful charges
When an officer suspects that a driver is drunk and stops them, they may ask the driver to submit to a chemical test to assess their level of intoxication, if any. Unfortunately, if a driver fails a chemical test, such as a Breathalyzer, they can lose their license for up to 180 days. Some drivers may not want to submit to chemical tests, regardless of their state of intoxication. In Indiana, a person who refuses a chemical test at the request of a law enforcement officer may lose their license for up to two years.
Drunk driving is considered a serious offense under the law, and when drivers amass other driving-based charges, they can have their licenses suspended for up to a decade. The loss of one’s driving privileges can be insurmountable for Indianapolis residents who need to drive for their jobs and families. Individuals facing these difficult predicaments do not have to take them on alone. The attorneys of Kammen & Moudy are available for consultation and representation on a variety of criminal law matters.