There are many serious consequences to getting a DUI and one of the hardest things to deal with is losing your driving privileges. For most of us, driving is necessary, especially in California. Where public transportation is limited and when you have to commute to your work, being able to drive is essential. Your driver's license will be suspended after a DUI but it may be for less time than you think. Your license will be suspended for as little as 30 days and up to several years, depending on the facts of your case and any prior DUI offenses you may have. The California Department of Motor Vehicles sets forth standard procedures for handling an offender's driving privileges after a DUI. The DMV's Administrative Per Se program processes automatic license suspensions for DUI offenders with guidelines for how long your license will be suspended. If you are arrested for a DUI, the officer who arrested you will immediately confiscate your driver's license. When your license is suspended, you should be issued a temporary license, good for 30 days from the issuance date. Along with this temporary license, you will receive an Order of Suspension, which serves as formal notice your license is suspended. After you are released from jail, get your car out of the towing lot and have this temporary license, you may drive again. Your license, along with a copy of the Order of Suspension you were issued, will be sent to the DMV along with the police report and any BAC tests you took. If for some reason you weren't issued these at the time of arrest, you will be mailed both by the DMV. Unless you have that temporary license, however, all your driving privileges are suspended. During these 30 days, you have the time to arrange for alternative transportation as well as contest the suspension if you choose. To contest the suspension, you must request an administrative hearing through the DMV within ten days of the issuance of the Order of Suspension. You can request the DMV to mail you a copy of the police report for your review. Regardless if you are contesting it or not, be very careful about driving during this period. If caught drinking and driving again, you will not be given another temporary license; your temporary license will be confiscated and you will be left with no driving privileges. You can request your license back from the DMV after the suspension period. You will also have to pay a $125 reissuance fee. Your suspension period begins after your temporary license expires. How long your license will be suspended is determined based off a few factors. If you are over 21, did not refuse the BAC test and if this is your first DUI, your suspension period will be at least four months. You are eligible to apply for a restricted license after 30 days of this period, which will allow driving to and from work and to and from your DUI education program. This is an application process and requires you pay a fee, file proof of financial responsibility and proof of enrollment in a DUI first offender program. If you are a repeat offender, and your last DUI was within the last ten years, your suspension period will be one year. If you are under 21, took a BAC test and were over the state limit of .01% for underage drivers, your suspension period will be one year. Keep in mind you may have other driving restrictions/requirements handed down from the court system, which operates independently from the DMV. If you have been ordered to install an Ignition Interlock Device, or IID, you may have to do so and file proof of the installation with the court before you can drive again. In Tulare, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Alameda counties, you will automatically be ordered to install one in every car you own or drive. If you've been charged with a DUI and want to get back on the road as soon as possible, contact an experienced DUI defense attorney who can help you take the right steps towards driving again. And, as always, your driving privileges do not include the right to drive under the influence or drive with disregard for others' safety. When back on the road driving after a DUI, follow the terms or conditions of driving you may have been given from the courts or the DMV. Violating your probation terms or driving without a valid license can have serious consequences and will keep you from driving even longer.
If you are in the Visalia/Hanford/Tulare area and have had your license suspended as a result of a DUI? The Law Offices of Christopher Martens is here to help you. Contact attorney Christopher Martens for expert counsel on DUI law and DMV proceedings. Contact our office at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] to discuss a possible plan of action for your case.