If you operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 of one percent or greater, your license will automatically be suspended at your first court appearance. That suspension will continue pending prosecution of your case. Moreover, that suspension is separate from any suspension that you may have associated with any DWI related conviction that may arise as a result of your arrest.
Despite this requirement of a suspension pending prosecution, you may apply for a hardship license which is a limited privilege to drive. To receive a hardship license, you must request a hardship hearing. The hardship license is generally limited to allowing you to drive to and from work, school and medical care. The hardship hearing must be conducted within three days of arraignment.
It should be noted that you will not be eligible for a hardship license if you are charged with having refused to take a breath or other chemical test to determine your BAC. You are also ineligible for a hardship license if you have DWI related conviction within the previous five years.
At the hardship hearing you will need to testify, and present evidence from other witnesses, or documentary evidence to show that you would face an extreme hardship if you are not permitted to drive.
The hardship license is for the sole purpose of getting to and from work, school or medical appointments during the specific dates and times permitted by the court. The hardship license cannot be used for any other purpose, and if it is, you may be charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle which is a crime.