As a Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer and PA Driver’s License Suspension Attorney, I have the opportunity to represent individuals that have received DUI charges and are then subsequently admitted into Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, or ARD. This is a program where individuals with no prior criminal record enter into a pre-trial diversionary program, complete a term of non reporting term of probation, and then receive a dismissal of their criminal charges along with an expungement of their arrest once they complete the program successfully.
When a person is admitted into ARD for a DUI, that person can serve a license suspension of either 30 days or 60 days, depending on their blood alcohol content at the time of their arrest. Once that person completes the suspension they must pay a “restoration fee” to PennDot before their license or driving privileges will be reinstated. Not paying this fee, even when their term of suspension has been served, can have very serious consequences.
Under the law, an ARD suspension does not end until the restoration fee has been paid. I have represented clients who have completed their term suspensions only to forget or ignore the requirement to pay the restoration fee. The scenario that plays out is that the client is pulled over and their license is run by the police. The failure to restore the license causes the license to come back suspended and the police officer then writes a ticket for Driving While Suspended – DUI Related. Upon conviction, this charge carries with it a $1,000 fine, a one (1) year loss of driver’s license, and a mandatory 90 days in jail. So it is easy to see why it is important for a person to be vigilant about paying a simple administrative fee. As is evident from the above, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.