Temporary Reinstatement of Driving Privileges Following a DWI

One of the most impactful collateral consequences following a DWI happens almost immediately – your driver’s license is revoked seven days later for a lengthy period of time. This happens administratively, meaning it’s automatic and without judicial review before occurring.

The only way a judge will review the revocation is if you file a Petition for Judicial Review within 30-days of the revocation. This is a civil matter that must be done concurrent with your pending criminal matter. But, in most counties, a hearing won’t be held for a month-plus, which results in the ongoing revocation of your license.

Hennepin County is different. It is the one jurisdiction where, after filing the Petition for Judicial Review, you can request a temporary stay of the balance of the revocation pending the outcome of the criminal case. The result is that you won’t face this devastating collateral consequence until after you are adjudged guilty of a DWI or determined by the civil court in the implied consent setting that the revocation is valid.

In order to take advantage of this, the Petitioner must submit a letter to the Court, requesting the stay and provide certain information, like the Petitioner’s name, date of birth, the implied consent file number, the driver’s license number, and license plate (if the Petitioner is also asking the stay of the balance of the plate impoundment). The stay cannot be granted until the driver’s license record reflects the revocation.

There are only a few scenarios where this stay will not, as a matter of policy, be granted by the Court:

  • Petitioner’s driver’s license is canceled as inimical to public safety (IPS);
  • Petitioner was under 21 at the time of the incident;
  • Petitioner had another implied consent incident within one year of the current incident;
  • Petitioner’s probation or conditional release on another criminal case has been violated by this implied consent incident;
  • The Petition was not filed timely (30 days);
  • The related criminal case has already been resolved and the implied consent hearing can be scheduled within 60 days of the reinstatement request;
  • Petitioner has failed to follow the specified procedures to request the stay; and
  • Other facts indicate Petitioner is a significant threat to public safety, including, but not limited to, multiple pending alcohol or drug related offenses.

As you can see, there is no guarantee even the most common request will be granted automatically. If you find yourself facing a DWI, particularly in Hennepin County, you should contact us to learn about your options in getting your driving privileges reinstated during the pendency of the criminal case.