In California, you can face two kinds of license suspension for drunk driving, one from the DMV and one from the courts. The DMV’s license suspension, known as admin per se or administrative suspension, is the first one you face, even before your trial.
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If you are 21 years of age or older, took a chemical or urine test, the results showed 0.08% BAC or more and this is your first DUI arrest, you will receive a 4-month license suspension. At the time of your arrest, the officer will confiscate your license and issue you an Order of Suspension and Temporary License. You may drive for 30 days from the date the order of suspension or revocation was issued, provided you have been issued a California driver license and your driver license is not expired, or your driving privilege is not suspended or revoked for any other reason. Your 4-month suspension will take effect after those 30 days.
If you were 21 years or older at the time of arrest and you refused or failed to complete a blood or breath test, or a urine test (if applicable): a first offense will result in a one-year suspension; a second offense within 10 years will result in a two-year revocation; a third or subsequent offense within 10 years will result in a three-year revocation.
If you were under 21 years old at the time of being detained or arrested and you refused or failed to complete a PAS test or other chemical test: a first offense will result in a one-year suspension, a second offense within 10 years will result in a two-year revocation; a third or subsequent offense within 10 years will result in a three-year revocation.
You have the right to request a hearing from the DMV within 10 days of receipt of the suspension or revocation order. If the review shows there is no basis for the suspension or revocation, the action will be set aside. The DMV hearing is an administrative proceeding regarding your driving privilege and the circumstances surrounding the arrest, not whether you are innocent or guilty of a criminal act. More information regarding APS hearings can be found on the DMV’s website, www.dmv.ca.gov.
There are two license restricted license options. First, there is the option to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. You may apply for a restricted license immediately with the installation of an ignition interlock device. With this restriction, you may drive at any time, so long as the vehicle is equipped with an ignition interlock device. You will have this restriction for up to four months. To apply for this restricted license: visit a DMV office (appointment recommended), provide proof of enrollment in a DUI program, provide proof of insurance (SR 22), provide proof of ignition interlock device installation (DL 920), and pay a $125 APS fee.
SR22 insurance is a certificate of financial responsibility. It is often a requirement that follows a DUI charge that requires you to prove that you have insurance. An SR22 is sometimes used to reinstate a driver's license following a suspension that comes with a DUI charge. The form itself proves that you have the minimum insurance coverage required by your state law.
APS stands for an “Administrative Per Se” hearing, which is an administrative hearing handled by the Department of Motor Vehicles to determine whether or not you should continue to have the privilege of driving on the roads they control.
The other option for a restricted license is the employment/treatment program. You may apply for a license that restricts you to driving to, from, and during employment and to and from your DUI program for up to five months. To apply for this restricted license: serve 30 days of your 4-month suspension, visit a DMV office (appointment recommended), provide proof of enrollment in a DUI program, provide proof of insurance (SR 22), and pay a $125 APS fee.