Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq.

Can I Get A Hardship License in Rhode Island?

Apr, 17 2019 - By: S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq.
Hardship License in Rhode Island

If you have recently gotten a DUI, your ability to travel to work and earn a living is at risk. While public transportation can be a viable option, it is often too expensive or does not coincide with your schedule. Rhode Island citizens facing a DUI may seek a hardship license, but only if they refused a breathalyzer test, or if this is the first or second DUI offense. Otherwise, a hardship license in Rhode Island is not an option. If you meet the qualifications above, you may be able to obtain the permit to drive with restrictions. Find out more about a hardship license in Rhode Island with the information below.

What Is a Hardship License?

A hardship license is a temporary and conditional license that may be given to someone who has had his or her driving license suspended due to certain alcohol-related violations.

Eligibility for a hardship license depends on the nature of the driving suspension, the state the person lives in (in this case, Rhode Island), and the personal circumstances for applying for one.

It’s called a hardship license because if you can prove you are in hardship by not being able to drive, as most people experiencing a license suspension, the court may grant some leniency. Instead of prohibiting the ability to drive altogether, an individual can drive to work and back, as well as perform other essential tasks, with a hardship license in Rhode Island.

Naturally, there will be some restrictions that come with a hardship license. As a violator of the drunk driving laws, one cannot drive his or her vehicle at will, for any reason. Instead, a person may only use a car to travel to work and back, between certain hours. Otherwise, the driver in question must install an ignition interlock device which requires you to pass an alcohol breath test before your vehicle starts.

Can You Get a Hardship License in Rhode Island?

If you meet the eligibility requirements and live in Rhode Island, you can obtain a hardship license. The law in Rhode Island allows a judge or magistrate to grant hardship licenses at his or her discretion.

Hardship licenses are solely for drivers who have lost their licenses due to DUI offenses. In this instance, a driver in Rhode Island must have an ignition interlock device installed in the vehicle in conjunction with a hardship license.

Ignition interlock devices require the driver to blow into a breathalyzer before the vehicle starts, ensuring he or she is not driving under the influence of alcohol and posing a danger to themselves and other motorists.

Those given a hardship license must adhere to the stipulations of the permit. Operating the vehicle outside of set work hours can result in further punishments, the revocation of the license, more fees, and possible jail time.

How to Apply for a Hardship License in Rhode Island

You can only apply for a hardship license after your case comes to a close and a judge or magistrate have handed you your sentence. At this point, you can instruct your attorney to file for a hardship license, which typically consists of the following steps:

  • Step 1 – Instruct your attorney to file for a hardship license.
  • Step 2 – Put forward a case that you need a hardship license to get to work and back and are not a danger to other road users.
  • Step 3 – You’ll need to provide evidence of working hours from your employer and any other details the judge requests.
  • Step 4 – When the court is satisfied with your evidence, if your driver’s license suspension is due to a DUI, you’ll need to have an ignition interlock device fitted to your vehicle and submit proof when the installation is complete.
  • Step 5 – There are some fees to pay for the fitting of the ignition interlock device, and to update your driver’s license to add the conditional hardship restriction:
    • Hardship license – Pay $100 Ignition Interlock fee to the Adjudication Office of the DMV
    • DMV – Pay $26.50 to update your license with the hardship restriction
    • Reinstatement fees:
      • License – $351.50
      • Registration – $251.50

Speak to a Lawyer About Getting Your Hardship License

S. Joshua Macktaz, Esquire, may be able to help you procure a hardship license. Do not let the stress of your DUI affect your future. Call (401) 861-1155 today for a free consultation. Speak with our legal team about the details of your Rhode Island DUI, and find out your best course of action. While a DUI is a difficult thing to contend with, it does not have to stop your ability to earn a living wage and take care of your family. If you or a loved one need a RI DUI hardship license or a Rhode Island DUI lawyer, our office is here to help. Call us today to see how we can serve you.

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