ARS 28-1385 Administrative License Suspension for Driving Under the Influence or Homicide or Assault Involving a Motor Vehicle

Under Arizona law, ARS 28-1385 looks at administrative license suspension and the repercussions of a homicide or assault due to driving under the influence.


This page will discuss all that you need to know about being charged with ARS 28-1385 in Arizona, including a breakdown of Admin Per Se and the risk of SR 22 Insurance.


Continue reading below. If you have any questions, contact DUI attorney Arja Shah today.


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Arizona DUI Defense From The Shah Law Firm

Being charged with ARS 28-1385 can be frightening.

In this article, we’ll cover the following topics:

It is essential to remember that being charged is not the same as being convicted. Solid legal representation can help protect your rights, challenge evidence, and navigate the complexities of the legal system.

The Shah Law Firm’s experienced DUI defense attorneys are here to help you.




Overview of ARS 28-1385: Administrative License Suspension

As per ARS 28-1385, when a driver is arrested for DUI, the arresting officer can immediately suspend the driver’s license. This administrative action is separate from any criminal charges that may also be initiated and takes effect even before the court proceedings commence.

When you are taken into custody under the suspicion of DUI, you are typically asked to submit to a breathalyzer or blood test.

If you refuse, or if your test results indicate a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or more (0.04% if you’re a commercial vehicle driver, or any percentage if you’re under 21), your license can be seized on the spot.

Understanding the Basis for License Suspension Under ARS 28-1385

ARS 28-1385 is primarily based on the doctrine of implied consent, which essentially states that by operating a motor vehicle, you automatically consent to BAC testing if you are suspected of drinking while driving.

Your refusal to submit to the test can lead to immediate license suspension.

This law applies irrespective of whether you were driving under the influence. The crux is refusal or a test failure, not the DUI charge itself.

The purpose is to deter drivers from refusing the test, thus facilitating evidence collection for potential DUI charges.

Refusing a breath or blood test, as per Arizona’s implied consent law, can also result in an automatic one-year license suspension. Subsequent refusals within 84 months can lead to a two-year suspension.

Difference Between Administrative and Criminal License Suspension

Though they both result in a similar outcome—loss of driving privileges—it’s essential to differentiate between administrative and criminal license suspension.

An administrative license suspension is an immediate action the arresting officer takes under ARS 28-1385. This happens if you refuse or fail the breathalyzer or blood test. Importantly, this suspension is independent of your DUI court proceedings—it can happen even if you’re not found guilty of the DUI charge.

On the other hand, a criminal license suspension occurs when you’re convicted of DUI or a related offense in court. It’s often long and can incur additional penalties like fines, community service, or jail time. It’s possible to face administrative and criminal suspensions, potentially leading to a significantly extended suspension period.

Consequences of a DUI Homicide or Assault Involving a Motor Vehicle

Getting charged with a DUI is severe, but if your actions resulted in a fatality or serious injury—categorized as DUI homicide or assault—the situation becomes dire.

Under ARS 28-1385, if you’re involved in a severe or fatal accident while driving under the influence, your license can be suspended immediately.

Beyond losing your driving privileges, a conviction may lead to significant legal repercussions such as hefty fines, long-term imprisonment, mandatory counseling, community service, probation, and installing an ignition interlock device.

You’ll also likely face high insurance premiums and possibly a civil lawsuit from the victims or their families.

Dealing with Suspension after DUI in Arizona

In Arizona, according to law ARS 28-1385, when a driver is suspected of DUI, they could lose their ability to drive in the state 15 days post-arrest.

This condition, known as the Admin Per Se Suspension, endures for 90 days.

It arises from a BAC of .08 or above, the presence of an illicit drug, or an unauthorized prescription drug in your system. In case of such an arrest, Arizona police could seize your Arizona driver’s license and present you with the Admin Per Se form.

However, if your license is from another state, Arizona police do not have the authority to confiscate it.

However, an Admin Per Se can still limit your driving rights in Arizona.

Additionally, if Arizona MVD communicates the event to your home state, it might lead to suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.

This Admin Per Se form is your provisional driver’s license for the forthcoming 15 days. If you neglect to request a hearing to postpone or dispute the suspension, it will be effective on the 16th day.

If you appeal for a hearing, the suspension will be put off until a hearing before an MVD judge takes place.

What Happens If Admin Per Se Wasn’t Issued?

In some cases, you may not receive an Admin Per Se at the time of your arrest. This could be because the police are waiting for blood test results, or they determine that your BAC is below .08 or choose not to issue it during the arrest.

However, they can still file an Admin Per Se suspension later.

Hence, you must ensure that MVD has your current address to receive critical communication.

Suppose the Arizona Department of Transportation sends a letter of corrective action notifying you of an Admin Per Se suspension.

In that case, your driving rights will be suspended 15 days after the issuance of this letter.

If you wish to challenge or delay this suspension, requesting a hearing immediately upon receiving the letter is advised.

Appealing for a Hearing to Challenge or Postpone the Admin Per Se Suspension

If you appeal for a hearing within 15 days, you can retain your driving privileges until the hearing occurs.

The hearing request must be in writing and reach the Executive Hearing office within 15 days from when the suspension was issued.

Should you or your lawyer file a timely request for an Admin Per Se hearing, the hearing will be scheduled with an administrative law judge. If you hire a lawyer, they can represent you, and your presence can be excused.

The objective of the hearing is to decide on maintaining or canceling the 90-day suspension.

Risk of SR 22 High-Risk Driver’s Insurance

In some circumstances, accepting the Admin Per Se suspension may be beneficial.

This could help avoid the need to prove future financial responsibility.

The proof can be an SR-22 Certificate of Insurance from an insurer or a certificate from the Arizona Office of Treasurer demonstrating a cash deposit or certificate of deposit of $40,000.

If SR-22 insurance is required to restore your driver’s license, proof must be maintained for three years.

Failure to maintain proof will result in a suspension of your license and registration.

SR-22 insurance is a complex matter that varies based on individual situations. It is advisable to consult an Arizona DUI lawyer to understand how to deal with the Admin Per Se Suspension.

SR22 insurance can significantly increase your insurance costs for the next three years.

Sometimes, it might prompt your insurance company to cancel your coverage.

How Can the Shah Law Firm Assist in an ARS 28-1385 Case?

At The Shah Law Firm, we understand how disorienting it can be to face DUI charges, and we’re committed to providing robust defense services. Our extensive experience with DUI cases enables us to devise strategic defenses tailored to your unique case.

We can help contest license suspension at the administrative hearing, challenging the legality of the initial stop, the sobriety tests, and even the BAC testing procedure. Moreover, we can guide you through the criminal proceedings, ensuring you understand your rights and options at every step.

For those facing a charge under ARS 28-1385, The Shah Law Firm is adept at tackling the specific challenges of these severe charges, from challenging the BAC testing procedure to questioning the chain of custody for the blood sample.

Top 5 FAQs About ARS 28-1385

Below are the most common questions we are asked when a person has been arrested and charged with ARS 28-1385.

Can ARS 28-1385 suspension be enforced if I was taking prescription medication at the time of my arrest?

Yes, even if the substance causing impairment is a legal prescription medication, the ARS 28-1385 suspension can be enforced. If your ability to operate a motor vehicle is compromised, regardless of the legality of the substance, you can still be charged with a DUI.

How does ARS 28-1385 relate to non-residents driving in Arizona?

If a non-resident is arrested for DUI in Arizona, while the police can’t confiscate an out-of-state license, the Admin Per Se suspension under ARS 28-1385 will still restrict the individual’s right to drive in Arizona.

Under ARS 28-1385, can my driving privilege be suspended if I was operating a non-traditional vehicle like a bicycle or horse while impaired?

ARS 28-1385 specifically pertains to motor vehicles. While riding a bicycle or horse under the influence may have other legal implications, the administrative license suspension under ARS 28-1385 wouldn’t typically apply.

Is it possible to receive an Admin Per Se suspension under ARS 28-1385 even if I'm not officially charged with a DUI?

Yes, ARS 28-1385 allows for an administrative license suspension following a DUI arrest, even if formal charges haven’t yet been filed. The suspension can occur independently of the criminal proceedings.

If I am a commercial driver, how does ARS 28-1385 affect my commercial driving license?

As a commercial driver, a DUI arrest can lead to a suspension of your commercial driving license under ARS 28-1385, and the legal BAC limit for commercial drivers is lower than for non-commercial drivers, at 0.04 instead of 0.08.

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