Driving is an absolute necessity in Southern California. If you have been arrested for a DUI (driving under the influence), a DWI(driving while intoxicated), or a DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) you are endanger of losing your driver’s license. In fact, you will lose our driver’s license if you do not take immediate action. At Coffey & Coffey, we have significant experience and success for our clients to avoid license suspension.
At the time of your arrest, the officer most likely seized your driver’s license if any of the following were true:
- Your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) registered 0.08 percent.
- You gave a blood or urine sample to be analyzed later.
- You refused to be tested.
This action complies with the immediate driver license suspension law for alcohol-impaired drivers. This law is also called an Administrative Per Se (APS) or “on-the-spot” license suspension law. The APS law requires the Department of Vehicles (DMV) to suspend or revoke any individuals driving privilege who met at least one of the above criteria.
Along with seizing your driver’s license, the officer probably gave you a pink sheet of paper at the time of your arrest known as an Order of Suspension. This pink sheet serves as notice of your driver’s license suspension and as your 30-day temporary driver’s license. However, do not be fooled into thinking you have 30 days to deal with this matter.
Time is of the essence. You only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to contact the Drivers Safety Office of the Department of Motor Vehicles to request a hearing. They are extremely serious about the 10 days. If you do not contact them, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended beginning 30 days after your arrest date. To further emphasis, if you contact them 11 days after your arrest, they will deny you a hearing and your driver’s license will automatically be suspended beginning 30 days after your arrest date.
Without a DMV hearing, there is no question that your driver’s license will be suspended. The only question will be for how long.
For a first DUI offense, your driver’s license will be suspended for 4 months. This can be reduced to one month followed by five months of work restriction if the individual files proof of enrollment in a DUI school and proof of insurance (the “SR-22″ form). If the arrest involves a refusal to submit to chemical testing, the suspension is for 1 year and no work restriction is possible. A second DUI offense within ten years carries a one-year license suspension. If there was a refusal to take a chemical test, then the suspension is for two-years.
There is no negative implication when requesting a hearing. In other words, it does not imply guilt in any way. The DMV hearing is an administrative process and is separate from any criminal charges or trails relating to the DUI arrest. There is nothing to lose by requesting a DMV hearing. In fact, with an experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer there is an excellent chance the license suspension will be thrown out.
If the DMV cannot provide a hearing during the 30-day temporary license period, then your
For those driver’s under the age of 21, it is illegal to drive a vehicle with a BAC of 0.01% or higher doing so could result in being charged with California Vehicle Code 23136. The same procedures are followed regardless of the driver’s age. The arresting officer will confiscate your driver’s license. They will give you a pink sheet, which states your license has been suspended. The pink sheet serves as your 30-day temporary driver’s license. The same 10-day rule applies to request a DMV hearing. If a hearing is not requested or the driver loses the hearing, then their license is suspended for one year. This is a greater penalty than an adult driver will receive for their first offense. Orange County, as well as all of California, has a zero tolerance law for driving under the influence if under 21 years of age.