Admin Per Se Laws in DUI Cases
If you take a DWI chemical test and fail it, in most states you can lose your driving privilege.
Just like implied consent laws, the admin per se laws in most states are designed to result in a license suspension if you are arrested for DUI.
“Admin per se” is short for “administrative per se license suspension.” Let’s examine the terms in this phrase to get a better understanding of what the law is and how it works:
Administrative: Legal matter handled not through a court but rather through an administrative agency, typically the DMV or department of motor vehicles. Hearings are presided over by an administrative law judge. There is a limited availabillity of process in these hearings, and you don’t typically have the same rights as you do in a DUI criminal prosecution.
Per Se: This refers to the “per se” legal limit. In every state, a person is deemed to be in violation of the DUI law if they are at a certain alchol level at (or sometimes within a certain time from) the time of driving. A alcohol level of 0.080 percent is typically the limit. If a chemical test, lawfully obtained by a police officer indicates that you are at or above the per se level, then the officer can or must administratively suspend your license. In breath test cases this typically happens at the time you take a fail the breath test (the officer may take or punch a hole in your license). I blood or urine test cases, it typically happens after the labratory returns a result for the chemical test.
License Suspension: The term speaks for itself. Most states have a 90 day license suspension for a first administrative per se suspension.