Many times, clients wonder what will happen to their out of state license when their Pennsylvania driving privileges have been suspended once they are accepted into the accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD) program.
The bottom line is that you will be able to continue driving in every other state, including your home state, except for Pennsylvania. The question is, how do you know once you leave the courthouse after being accepted into ARD whether your suspension has begun seeing as though you do not have to surrender your out of state license?
First, before leaving the courthouse on the day you are accepted into the program, the court will indicate your period of suspension: 30 days for a blood alcohol content (BAC) 0.10% to under 0.16%, 60 days for a BAC 0.16% or over, and if you are under 21, 90 days.
Second, as long as PennDOT has your correct address, you will receive a suspension notification letter in the mail. If you do not receive this letter within 4 weeks, contact PennDOT to see if they have your correct address on file and have received notice of your suspension.
Third, if they do not have notice of your suspension, this does not mean you are off the hook. Contact your attorney to make sure your suspension is noted. You do not want to find out down the line that you never completed your suspension and thus, never completed the program. If they have notice of your suspension, indicate that you will submit the appropriate form (DL-16LC) found on PennDOT’s website and follow up to make sure PennDOT received it, processed it, and your suspension has begun.
Third, you must not drive in Pennsylvania once your suspension period has begun. If you are found to be driving in Pennsylvania, you risk being removed from the program, facing the DUI conviction which you would have avoided had you properly completed the ARD program, and will face additional criminal charges such as driving while suspended.
Lastly, know that you may not automatically drive the day after your suspension period has been completed. Once your 30, 60 or 90 day suspension is completed, you must have your driving privileges reinstated. You will receive a Restoration Requirements letter from PennDOT as long as your address on file is current. If you do not receive your letter, you can go on their website to request this letter. Once you follow the restoration requirements, your Pennsylvania driving privileges will be reinstated and you may then drive in Pennsylvania.
Have a Pennsylvania license or DUI related question? Contact Attorney Stephen L. Jones’s office today: (610) 999-9384.