License Suspensions

A license suspension is one of the most common consequences of a DUI arrest. At best, it is inconvenient and at worst it could seriously interfere with a person’s ability to earn a living. Most people are unaware that the California Department of Motor Vehicles is the sole authority regarding license suspensions and that there are two license suspensions associated with a DUI. Contact Attorney Kellee Parker, the DUI Professor, today to help protect your driving privileges.

Suspension Due to DUI Arrest

The first license suspension is triggered by an arrest for driving under the influence. The DMV has the authority to suspend a driver’s license via an administrative action, even if a licensee is never convicted in Court. The suspension is triggered solely by an arrest for driving under the influence with a 0.08% or more, by weight, of alcohol in the blood, or refusal to submit to, or failure to complete, a chemical test.

An administrative suspension occurs due to failure to request an Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing within 10 days of arrest or an unfavorable decision of an APS hearing. On a first offense, the suspension period is 4 months. After one month of a hard suspension, the licensee is eligible to receive a restricted license to commute to and from work, during the course of work, and to and from an alcohol program. To receive the restricted license, the licensee must provide proof of enrollment in a first offender AB-541 alcohol program, file an SR-22 (proof of financial responsibility form), and pay the reissue fee to the DMV. If there is a second DMV action within a 10 year period, the licensee will be facing a 1 year suspension without the possibility of a restricted license. In the event of a third action within that same 10 year time frame, a 2 year license suspension will be issued by the DMV. The best way to avoid these penalties is to contact a qualified DUI defense attorney to advocate on behalf of the licensee.

It is important to remember that as a prerequisite to obtaining a California driver’s license, a driver agrees to submit to a chemical test (breath or blood test) when requested to do so by a peace officer. Refusing to submit to a chemical test results in an automatic suspension of the driver’s license by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. A first offense will result in a 1 year suspension for refusal to submit to, or failure to complete, a chemical test. In the event of a second offense within 10 years, the license will be revoked for 2 years. Contact Attorney Parker, the DUI Professor, to protect your driving privileges!

Suspension Due to Criminal DUI Conviction

Once a defendant is convicted of a DUI, the Court will send an abstract to the DMV. Upon receipt of the abstract, the DMV will suspend the defendant’s driver’s license for a period of 6 months on a first offense, and for a period of 2 years on a second offense. The licensee can apply for a restricted license which would allow the licensee to drive to and from work, during the course of work, and to and from an alcohol program. In order to obtain a restricted license, the licensee must enroll in an alcohol program, provide an SR-22 (proof of financial responsibility form), and pay a reissue fee to the DMV. On a first offense, following conviction, the licensee is automatically eligible to apply for a restricted license as long as there are no Administrative Per Se restrictions. On a second offense, a restricted license is available after a one year hard suspension.

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