Alcohol DUI’s: The Basic Issues

Consequences of Getting a DWI While in College

Alcohol DUI’s are the most common form of DUI charge. This Legal Guide summarizes the basic issues involved in alcohol-related DUI arrests and investigations. It discusses arrests, investigations and Department of Licensing (DOL) consequences. This guide is educational and not intended to give legal advice. For more information please consult an attorney.


DUI litigation is essentially fought in two battlegrounds. First, license suspension proceedings are brought by the DOL. Second, criminal charges initiated from the Prosecutor. You need an attorney who can maneuver both venues aggressively and not just one aspect of the case.


At some point during your DUI processing the police officer punched a hole in your driver’s license. They may have also given you a slip of paper regarding a license suspension. In short, these documents mean that the State Department of Licensing (DOL) shall try suspending or revoking your license.

DOL suspensions and revocations should always be challenged. Under statute, DUI defendants have a very short window of time to challenge the automatic license suspension. In deciding whether to suspend or revoke your license, the DOL Hearing Examiner must analyze four issues:

(1) Whether your vehicle was legally stopped.

(2) Whether there were reasonable grounds to believe you were DUI.

(3) Whether you were informed of your implied consent warnings properly.

(4) Whether you either refused the breath test or blew over the legal limit.


Under statute, DUI’s are gross misdemeanors punishable up to a year in jail and a $5,000.00 fine. Additional consequences include alcohol evaluations, treatment, probation and mandatory ignition interlock device installations.

Fortunately, many consequences are negotiable, and can be modified to your benefit with the assistance of an experienced attorney. Every case is factually different. Outcomes vary. There are always mitigating and aggravating factors.

However, experienced attorneys can obtain dismissals or favorable reductions to lesser offenses. Please contact my office if you, a friend or family member are charged with DUI.

Additional resources provided by attorney Alexander Ransom: