For certain driving and/or alcohol related offenses in California, you may have your driver's license suspended for a period of time. Your license can either be hard suspended or restricted suspended. For DUI offenders, a special program will handle your suspension according to state wide mandatory suspension laws. These suspensions are automatic under the Admin Per Se or "on-the-spot" suspension program. This program mandates automatic license suspensions through the DMV, based off of your BAC reading. If your BAC reading is .08% or higher, the California state BAC limit, your license will be suspended. If your BAC reading is a .04% or higher and you are driving a commercial vehicle, your license will be suspended. Those on probation for a prior DUI offense will be held to more strict BAC limits; a .01 BAC is enough to get your license suspended. Simply refusing to take the blood alcohol concentration test results in an automatic suspension as well. Those under 21 whose BAC level is .01% or higher or if they are simply caught with alcohol in their car, unless it is in sealed containers and an of age supervisor is present, will have their license suspended. Both of these offenses result in one full year of suspension. With a hard suspended license, you are not allowed to drive any motor vehicle at all. With a restricted suspended license, you are permitted to drive under certain circumstances; generally for activities necessary to complete your DUI sentencing and for work. With your first DUI, your license will be hard suspended for 30 days, after which you can apply to have a restricted license. The suspension begins with the immediate confiscation of your license by your arresting officer. At the time of confiscation, you should be given a formal notice of the suspension, called an Order of Suspension/Revocation. If you didn't receive one from the officer, the DMV will mail you one. Along with this order, you get a temporary license that is good for just 30 days. At the end of those 30 days, your driving rights are totally suspended for your given suspension period. For first time DUI offenders, this will be four months. For subsequent offenders, it is one year. However, first time offenders over 21 can apply for a restricted license after a mandatory 30 days of hard suspension. In order to do so, you must enroll in a DUI firs time offender program. You can then request the program to notify the DMV of your program enrollment. You must also pay a $125 license reissuance fee to the DMV and file a proof of financial responsibility, also called an SR-22 filing. You can request a To/From During Course of Employment and DUI Program restricted license. The terms of the restriction are kept clear; you can drive to and from work and to and from your DUI First Offender Program. This license is valid for five months as long as you complete the program. Driving with a hard suspended license or driving outside the terms and conditions of your restricted suspended license will result in a longer suspension and possible jail time. The steps for applying for this restriction are similar to those when applying to have your license reinstated in full; for full reinstatement however, you will have to file proof of completion of your program with the DMV. You must also fulfill your sentencing requirements through the court system (i.e. any jail/prison time and any fines/fees). While the DMV and the court system work together on these processes, it is important to remember that the Admin Per Se program deals only with the actions the DMV can take against your driving privileges as a DUI offender. The criminal court system does not deal with your driving privileges and will impose its own sentencing, to include probation, jail or prison time, fees and fines, the ordering of DUI classes and, potentially, the ordering of an Ignition Interlock Device to be installed in your car.
If you are in the Visalia/Hanford/Tulare area and have had your license suspended? 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 MartensL[email protected] to discuss a possible plan of action for your case.