Getting a DUI can land you in a heap of trouble. As part of your DUI charge, you will have to face consequences from the California Department of Motor Vehicles in addition to criminal prosecution through the California criminal court system. The program within the DMV that handles the driving privileges of DUI offenders is called the Administrative Per Se, also called Admin Per Se, program operating under the Administrative Per Se law. The Administrative Per Se program processes automatic driver's license suspensions for all California DUI offenders. It is also called the on the spot license suspension program. Per Se is latin for "by itself", meaning the DMV handles license suspensions through the Admin Per Se program by itself, or inherently. This program started in 1990 as a law that requires certain actions from the DMV to deal with suspending driving privileges for those who are charged with a DUI. As its name would suggest, you enter into this program as soon as you are arrested for a DUI. Your arresting officer, who also will confiscate your license, will give you a notice of your license suspension. Along with this, you will be provided with a temporary license good for only 30 days. You have these 30 days to contest the suspension, if you feel the facts of your case are insufficient to warrant a suspension. To do so, you need to request a hearing within 10 days of receiving your notice of suspension, request the DMV send you a copy of your police report and prepare your defense. You might want to consult with a good DUI defense attorney to advise you on how to prepare for the DMV hearing process. Your license, the police report, a copy of the notice and any test results will be sent to the DMV after your arrest, which will then handle the consequences to your driving privileges. The DMV will rule on any suspensions of your driving privileges based on very few facts coming from just these documents. Look over all the materials the DMV will review well to ensure you have a good strategic defense. The DMV is not at all concerned with whether or not you should be charged with a DUI and the sentencing you should face. Stick to the facts at the hearing and challenge only what facts they are considering. Under the Admin Per Se program, all non-commercial drivers over the age of 21 caught with a Blood Alcohol Concentration, or BAC, level of .08% or higher will face a first offense suspension of 4 months. After serving 30 days of this suspension, called a hard suspension, these offenders are eligible to apply for a restricted license, which allows them to drive to and from work and their alcohol education classes. The Admin Per Se program only allows first offenders to apply for a restricted license after 30 days of hard suspension. Second time offenders will have their license suspended for one year. They will need to serve 90 days of a hard suspension and install an Ignition Interlock Device, or IID, before being eligible to apply for a restricted license. Third time offenders will need to serve six months of a hard suspension, and install an IID, before being eligible to apply for a restricted license. Otherwise, your license will be suspended for one year if you have had a prior DUI or wet reckless driving conviction within the last ten years. Second time offenders, with one prior DUI offense in the last ten years, will face a two-year revocation of their license and third time offenders will face a three-year revocation. Those on probation for a DUI, or those who refuse to submit to a chemical test to measure their BAC level will have their license suspended for one year if it is their first offense. Commercial drivers will have their license suspended if their BAC level is .04% or higher if driving a commercial vehicle. If they are driving their personal vehicle, they will lose their commercial license and be treated in the APS program according to other case facts but consistent with what other non-commercial drivers will face. On the spot license suspensions for DUI offenders, processed under the Admin Per Se program, are hard if not impossible to avoid with a DUI conviction but if you follow the procedures and guidelines of your suspension, you may be able to get back on the road driving sooner rather than later.
If you are in the Visalia/Hanford/Tulare area and have had your license suspended because 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.