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DUI and DMV License Suspensions

If arrested for a DUI, is my license automatically suspended?

In 1990, California adopted the “Administrative Per Se” (APS) program, authorizing the DMV to suspend the license upon arrest (Not Conviction) for a DUI.  This is an administrative action and is separate and independent from the court proceedings.

If stopped and arrested for a DUI, the law enforcement officer will issue a pink temporary license (DS-367) advising you that your privilege to drive will be suspended in thirty (30) days as a result of your arrest on suspicion of DUI (§13350 CVC et seq ).  The DS-367 also contains language advising a driver has only ten calendar days to request a hearing to contest this suspension.  If the driver has a California driver's license, the officer will confiscate it.  The cops cannot take out-of-state licenses, but the driving privilege in California is subject to suspension.

How do I request a hearing for my California DUI suspension?

Failure to request a hearing within ten days of your arrest forfeits your right to contest this automatic suspension.  It is critical you or your attorney request, within those ten days, a hearing with the local Driver's Safety Office.  My office always requests a hearing in writing and requests a stay on the suspension for our clients to legally drive pending the hearing, preserve the right to fight the suspension and receive the evidence against the driver at the earliest possible time.

What are the issues at a DMV Hearing?

DMV hearings are administrative and are not conducted by judges or attorneys.  For adults over 21 years old, the department must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence:

  • A person drove a motor vehicle;
  • That person was lawfully stopped by law enforcement; and
  • At the time of driving, the person had .08% or above alcohol in their system.

For drivers under 21-years or on DUI probation, the department need only show .01% alcohol in the driver's system.

 What are the consequences of a DMV APS Suspension?

For a first offender over 21-years-old, the DMV will suspend a privilege drive for four months and require:

  • A re-issuance fee of $125
  • Proof of enrollment in a DUI school; and
  • Proof insurability for three years (Insurance form SR-22)

Can I get a restricted license after a DUI suspension?

For a first offense, over 21 DUI, the DMV will suspend for four months.  However, after a 30-day suspension, if you bring the items described above to a DMV field office, you can obtain a restricted license (to/from and in the course/scope of work, and to/from the DUI school.)

*Update: Ignition Interlock Device Installation can avoid any suspension time, even the initial 30-day APS suspension. 

Can I get an immediate restriction after a First Offense DUI suspension?

A first-time, alcohol-only licensee may obtain an unrestricted privilege to drive immediately after an APS suspension if they install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in their car.  The driver must provide proof of enrollment in the DUI school and proof of insurance (SR-22.)

IID's are mandatory for second and subsequent offenses or suspensions.

Can I get a restricted driver's license after multiple DUI convictions?

Yes, in California, drivers with multiple convictions or suspensions can still get a restricted privilege to drive with the DUI school enrollment, SR-22 filing, and proof of IID installation.  

Are the DMV and Court Suspensions the same thing?

This is a good question.  The DMV and the court act on the same set of facts, but their decisions and impacts are independent.  You can win or lose either with the court or the DMV.  The DMV (APS) action does not apply to drug DUI's, so a person arrested for drugs only may prevail and get their license back from the DMV, only to lose it again if convicted of a DUI in court.  If you lose your license at the DMV (APS) hearing but prevail after a jury trial, you may be able to re-open your DMV suspension and have it reversed.

Do I need a Lawyer to Deal with the DMV?

As you can see, there are many statutes, deadlines, and other requirements that can baffle even the most intelligent drivers in California.  If you have the resources, it is always best to see advice from an experienced, qualified attorney.

Who Do I call to Reserve a DMV (APS) Hearing if I cannot afford an attorney?

Our office always requests a hearing, a stay of the suspension, and discovery.  However, if you do not have an attorney, you may call the nearest Driver's Safety office to reserve your hearing:

Driver Safety Offices

Location Telephone
Bakersfield (661) 833-2103
City of Commerce (323) 724-4000
City of Orange (714) 703-2511
Covina (626) 974-7137
El Segundo (310) 615-3500
Fresno (559) 445-6399
Oakland (510) 563-8900
Oxnard (805) 988-3050
Redding (530) 224-4755
Sacramento (916) 227-2970
San Bernardino (909) 383-7413
San Diego (619) 220-5300
San Francisco (415) 557-1170
San Jose (408) 229-7100
Van Nuys (818) 376-4217

Joel Bailey

JB Law, APC.

(760) 643 4025


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