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Getting To Work After A DUI

Updated: Dec 3, 2021

Driving After DUI Conviction: Can You Get a Work Permit?

If you plead or are otherwise found guilty of DUI in Pennsylvania, your driving privileges will be suspended. For a first offense DUI, the license will be suspended for one year. Subsequent DUI convictions have more severe penalties. It is possible to get a restricted drivers license to drive to work or school, but it depends on whether your DUI was also associated with a refusal to submit to a field sobriety test.

Consequences of Refusing a Breathalyzer Test

When you get pulled over in Pennsylvania on suspicion of DUI, the police officer might ask you to take a breathalyzer test. When you become a licensed driver in Pennsylvania, the fine print on your application states that by signing your name, you imply you are giving consent to take a breathalyzer test whenever a law enforcement officer requests it. By refusing this test, you are breaking the law, even if you have not been drinking. When you blow into this handheld device, it gives a reading of your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The legal limit is 0.08 percent.

Depending upon the jurisdiction, the officer might not ask you to take a breathalyzer test. Different police departments have different protocols for DUI stops. In some places, the officer might first subject you to a field sobriety test, which involves agility drills to help determine your level of intoxication. Only if you fail these tests can the officer ask you to take a breathalyzer.

No matter which tests you are asked to take, refusal to do so may constitute a violation of the implied consent law and result in license suspension.

Occupational Limited Licenses

An occupational limited license (OLL) authorizes you to drive a designated motor vehicle, under certain conditions, when it is necessary for the driver’s occupation, work, trade, medical treatment or study. An OLL is often referred to as a work permit or bread and butter license.

Unfortunately, if someone does get a breathalyzer refusal and his license is suspended for a 12-month period, there is no chance to get an occupational limited license. In fact, you’ll serve a license suspension in addition to the one assessed for the DUI conviction. Penalties for breathalyzer test refusals are harsher than those for DUI is many ways.

For DUI, after a 60 day period into the DUI-related license suspension, that person would be eligible for an occupational limited license. The OLL, once granted, applies to the final 10 months. Depending on your violations you may have to obtain an Ignition Interlock (II) Occupational Limited License (OLL).  So for the first 60 days, you cannot drive and your license is truly suspended. But for the final 10 months of a DUI-related suspension, you would be eligible for an occupational limited license.

To Apply for an OLL:

  1. You must complete Form DL-15 (PDF) Occupational Limited License Petition. Follow the instructions on the petition.

  2. Send it, along with the appropriate fee, to the address listed on the form. Be sure to keep the DL-15A (PDF) portion with your OLL once received.

  3. PennDOT will evaluate the petition and determine your eligibility by reviewing the violations on your driving record.

  4. If you do not qualify for an OLL, you will be sent a letter denying your application.

  5. If you qualify for an OLL, you will be sent an OLL camera card, which you will need to take to the nearest Photo License Center to have your photo taken and receive your OLL.

Get DUI Help

If you are facing DUI or implied consent charges in Pennsylvania, a criminal defense lawyer at Fiffik Law Group, P.C. wants to help. Call us today at 412.391.1014 for a free case evaluation.


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