Your Driver’s License after a DUI

When you are arrested in California for a DUI, you are supposed to be given a choice of a blood or breath alcohol test. If (1) a breath test indicates a .08% blood alcohol level or above, or (2) blood is taken for later analysis, or (3) you refuse to submit to chemical testing, your driver’s license is immediately confiscated by the police (unless it is an out-of-state license) and you are issued a document from the California DMV. This paper serves as (1) a formal notice of immediate suspension, (2) a temporary license valid for 30 days and (3) a detailed explanation of the law and the DMV procedures involved.

If this is a first offense, your driver’s license will be suspended for 4 months. This can be reduced to 1 month followed by 5 months of work restriction if you file proof of enrollment in a DUI class and proof of insurance (an “SR-22” form). If there is a refusal to submit to chemical testing, the suspension is for 1 year and no work restriction is possible. A second offense within ten years carries a 1-year suspension, and 2 years if a refusal.

You or your attorney has ten days to call the Drivers Safety Office of the Department of Motor Vehicles to contest the suspension at an administrative hearing. This is called the Administrative License Suspension (“ALS”).

We strongly recommended that a DMV suspension hearing be requested.  There is a fair chance that the suspension will be thrown out; the worst thing that can happen is that the same suspension will take effect, but much later than 30 days.

NOTE: It is CRITICAL that the DMV be contacted by your attorney within 10 calendar days of the arrest. On the 11th day, the DMV will refuse to provide a hearing and the suspension will automatically take effect in 30 days.

In most cases, due to DMV work overload, the DMV will be unable to provide a hearing before the 30-day temporary license expires and we can have the DMV extend the temporary license to a later date.

At the Law Offices of Hart J. Levin, we will handle the DMV hearing for you; you do not have to appear.  If you had your license confiscated pursuant to a DUI arrest, call us immediately to help restore your driving privileges.