No one plans on getting a DWI, yet they sometimes happen even after taking precautionary measures. One of the consequences is losing your license.

If you refuse to take a chemical test, you will lose your license for at least 180 days, a year if you are a commercial driver and two years if this is not your first offense. If you fail the test, you will lose it for 90 days, or one year for those with a CDL or prior offense. If you receive a DWI conviction, you will lose your license for up to two years. You may even face both penalties.

Going without driving privileges is difficult, especially if they are necessary for your job. What can you do to regain your driver’s license? The process of license reinstatement is pricey and time sensitive but possible. 

Chemical test refusal or failure

Whether you refuse or fail a blood or breath test, license suspension will be automatic. You have only 15 days to dispute the suspension. In the meantime, you may obtain a temporary permit until the judge makes a decision. If you can keep your license, you will have to pay a reinstatement fee. If the judge upholds the suspension, you have 30 days to appeal.

DWI conviction

Even if you lose your license due to a conviction, you can apply for a restricted license that allows you to go to work, school and other relevant places for one to two years. If you are eligible, you will have to pay fees to obtain the license.

As the end of your suspension nears, you can begin the steps to regain your driving privileges. Submit a certificate of completion of any court-mandated programs. Then pay reinstatement fees and show proof of liability insurance coverage. Depending on your case, you may have to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle in order to drive.