If you are granted limited driving privileges after a DUI conviction in Ohio, you may be forced to install yellow license plates on your car. While they are called “party plates” in jest, these bright license plates with red lettering signal to other motorists and the police that you have been convicted of a DUI. Prior to 2004, judges had discretion in requiring drivers to use these plates. Now, DUI party plates are mandatory for second or subsequent DUI convictions and first DUI convictions with a high blood alcohol content. Restricted license plates in these circumstances are necessary if you want to take advantage of your limited driving privileges.
When DUI Party Plates Are Required
Restricted license plates are not obligatory in all DUI-related circumstances. For example, if you are not allowed to drive but your family members continue to use your vehicle, that car can keep its normal plates. Also, if you complete a license suspension and have your driver’s license fully reinstated, you do not need special plates.
The yellow party plates are only necessary when you have restricted driving privileges due to either a DUI conviction or an administrative penalty. Upon a DUI conviction, a judge may grant you permission to drive to work, school, or medical appointments. These limited privileges begin once you obtain your new yellow plates. You may also come to have limited driving privileges through an administrative license suspension, which is a civil penalty for refusing to submit to a breath or blood test when arrested for a DUI. In both situations, your license was initially fully suspended but you were able to win back the right to drive at certain times and to certain events.
The Vehicle That Needs the Restricted Plates
You must install the restricted plates on any vehicle you intend to drive during the period of your restricted privileges. You may need to purchase these plates for more than one car. It does not matter if you are not the registered owner of the vehicle at the time. You are not allowed to drive any car that does not feature the party plates.
There is one exception. You do not have to put restricted plates on a work vehicle if your employer has been notified of your limited driving rights, the reason for these restrictions and proof of the employer’s knowledge of these circumstances is within the vehicle.
How Long You Must Keep Party Plates
When you are forced to drive around with a proverbial scarlet letter on your car, you will want normal plates back as soon as possible. You may experience discrimination and opposition from educators and potential employers. You and your family members who drive the car may become targets for unnecessary police stops. Unfortunately, you will need to keep the yellow license plates the entire time you have limited driving privileges, which could be 6 months or longer. You may only reinstall normal plates when your driver’s license has been fully reinstated.
A Cincinnati DUI Lawyer Can Help
You will have a visible reminder of your DUI conviction on your car every day until your full driving privileges are reinstated. This could be for 6 months or up to 3 years. That is why it is crucial you work with skilled DUI defense attorney Brad Groene right away after being charged with a DUI or notified of an administrative license suspension. Brad will immediately fight for your driving privileges to be fully reinstated. If you cannot obtain your rights in full, he knows how to demonstrate to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles or the court that you need to be able to drive to school, work or doctor’s appointments. Brad will also fight for the minimum suspension duration possible under the law.