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  • Writer's pictureJustin Whittenton

DUI, ADOT/MVD, Your Options, and the Court Process

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

My name is Justin P. Whittenton. I am an attorney with Whittenton Law Group, LLC, defending and serving the people of Arizona.

So, you have been arrested and charged (or will be charged) with DUI. While it was certainly a frustrating, anxiety-inducing, and potentially scary experience, it is very likely to get more uncomfortable as things move forward. It will certainly get more confusing.

There are a couple different things in play with your case. They are (1) the court and (2) ADOT/MVD. Think of the two as though they are cousins; they are related, but they live in different houses and they have different rules. Your license is controlled by ADOT/MVD, while your DUI case is controlled by the Court.

One of the things we all agree to when we sign for our Arizona driver’s license is that if we are even suspected of DUI, ADOT/MVD will suspend our driver’s license for a period of ninety (90) days. Often times, individuals will be concerned that they should not have consented to the blood draw, but they should not be. Part of that same agreement we make when we sign for our license is that should an individual refused the chemical test, the officer would have obtained a search warrant and retrieved the blood sample anyway. As a consequence for the officer having to get a warrant, ADOT/MVD would have suspended your license for a period of twelve (12) months. Hopefully, that is not the case for you, and you are only facing a ninety day (90-day) suspension. This post is concerned with the ninety-day (90-day) suspension.

You should have received a sheet of paper from the officer titled, “Admin Per Se/Implied Consent Affidavit.” This is the form the officer must submit to ADOT/MVD. If you were arrested in Gilbert, AZ, it is very likely they did not give you this form, or possibly any other paperwork, for that matter. About a third of the way down the page, you will the date on which the alleged violation occurred. Your suspension is scheduled to being thirty (30) days after that date.

Option 1: Let the Suspension Run Its Course

According to the Admin Per Se/Implied Consent Affidavit, the ninety-day (90-day) suspension should start at 12:01 a.m. on the thirty-first (31st) day after the date you were arrested. Provided you had a valid Arizona driver’s license, you would be eligible for a restricted license after the first thirty (30) days. With regard to obtaining a restricted driver’s license: in order to get the restricted driver’s license, you must first complete a screening with an approved agency. Many of those are done online now as a holdover from COVID-19. I usually recommend Scottsdale Treatment Institute (TeleDUI DUI Classes/Screenings - Scottsdale Treatment | Non-judgmental Help for Alcoholism & Drug Addiction), Stonewall Institute (Online DUI Services Center | Stonewall Institute), SAGE Counseling (SAGE Counseling in Arizona - SAGE Counseling, Inc.), or Prodigy Healthcare (Prodigy Healthcare | A Leading Substance Abuse Counseling Provider ( The screening at these locations can likely be done from anywhere at any time. A full list of approved facilities can be found at Twenty-four (24) hours after the screening is completed, it will be reported to MVD. At that time, you can go to any MVD office and obtain a restricted driver’s license. There is often a fee of around fifty to sixty dollars ($50.00-$60.00) to get that restricted license. On the ninety-first (91st) day, so long as the screening is completed, you will be able to go to any MVD and reinstate your full driver’s license for the usual fee (approximately twenty-five dollars ($25.00)), whether or not you ever obtained a restricted license.

Option 2: Request a Hearing on the Suspension and Have the Hearing

You have a right to request a hearing on the suspension, but that request must be sent before close of business on the thirtieth (30th) day following your arrest. Best practice is to get it in by close of business the Thursday before the thirtieth (30th) day following your arrest. If that hearing takes place, one of two things will happen: you will win, or you will lose.

If you win, then there is no suspension. If, however, your court case results in a DUI conviction, then ADOT/MVD will suspend your license for ninety (90) days, and the requirements of the screening and reinstatement from Option 1 would come back into play. Additionally, ADOT/MVD would require you to get something called SR-22 insurance. SR-22 insurance is an insurance rider that you would have to have for a period of three (3) years. In my experience, it costs approximately eighty dollars ($80.00) per month.

If you lose, then the suspension would start anytime from the day after the hearing to thirty (30) days after the hearing, and would run for a period of ninety (90) days. ADOT/MVD would add an extra penalty to the suspension in this scenario in that you would also be required to obtain the SR-22 insurance.

Option 3: Request a Hearing on the Suspension and Stipulate Prior to the Hearing

This is an option to buy some time. In this scenario, you request the hearing on the suspension, but anytime up to a day prior to the hearing, you contact ADOT/MVD and agree to the suspension. You could request the suspension to start any time from the date of the scheduled hearing to up to thirty (30) days after the scheduled hearing. The requirements of the screening and reinstatement from Option 1 would come into play after the suspension started. This option allows you to avoid the SR-22 and have time to prepare for a period of not driving.

When you waste no time and hire an experienced DUI attorney, such as Whittenton Law Group, you should not worry about the court date listed at the bottom of your citation. The reason is that when you hire an attorney prior to that date, that court date will be vacated and will not happen. That date is an arraignment. An arraignment is simply when the court makes certain that you are aware that the case is moving forward. The first thing we at Whittenton Law Group do is send in a Notice of Appearance (“NOA”) that tells the court and the State that if they want to talk to you, they have to talk to us. Once the court and the State receive the NOA, the court knows that we will keep you apprised of everything going on with the case. This fulfills the purpose of the arraignment, so the court vacates the date. They will then set us for the first of a series of Pre-Trial Conferences (“PTC”s). The PTCs are settings wherein the judge makes sure that the case is moving forward and the State is cooperating with our requests for discovery. There are usually three (3) to four (4) of these, and they are usually a month apart from one another. Along with our NOA, we submit a request for disclosure, wherein we demand the State provide us with all the discovery that they have available.

If you are in need of an experienced DUI attorney, please reach out and allow us to help you. Whittenton Law Group can be reached at 602-529-2933 and

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