DMV Drivers License Suspension Issues
The DMV in California constantly tells us that a license is a
privilege, not a right" This may be true, but if you live in DMV has
written laws to take a person's license for many reasons and there
are a myriad of statutes that seem to present an almost impossible
obstacle to the reinstatement of an individuals license. We cannot
begin to provide all the ways the government can hinder the
process, this page simply is intended to provide a basic
understanding of the common DUI related suspension actions.
1). The Administrative Per Se Suspension "APS"
This action originates from an arrest for DUI wherein a person
either submits to a blood or breath test and it comes back a .08%
or higher (.01% or higher if under 21); or the arrestee refuses to
submit to a chemical test. In either event, the arresting officer will
serve a notice of suspension and temporary license on the person.
If a DMV hearing is requested the individual has the right to
challenge the suspension and is afforded due process. If an
administrative hearing is not requested within 10 days or the DMV
decides against the licensee after a full hearing, the person's license
is suspended foe a minimum of four months and as long as 2 years
depending upon whether the licensee has suffered a prior
conviction for DUI or has been suspended in the past 10 years
under the APS laws.
The administrative suspension for drunk driving in California is
codified in Vehicle Code § 13353.2 which states:
(a) The department shall immediately suspend the privilege of a
person to operate a motor vehicle for any one of the following
(1) The person was driving a motor vehicle when the person had
0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood.
(2) The person was under 21 years of age and had a blood-alcohol
concentration of 0.01 percent or greater, as measured by a
preliminary alcohol screening test, or other chemical test.
(3) The person was driving a vehicle that requires a commercial
driver's license when the person had a 0.04 percent or more, by
weight, of alcohol in his or her blood.
(b) The notice of the order of suspension under this section shall
be served on the person by a peace officer pursuant to Section
13388 or 13382. The notice of the order of suspension shall be on a
form provided by the department. If the notice of the order of
suspension has not been served upon the person by the peace
officer pursuant to Section 13388 or 13382, upon the receipt of the
report of a peace officer submitted pursuant to Section 13380, the
department shall mail written notice of the order of the suspension
to the person at the last known address shown on the department's
records and, if the address of the person provided by the peace
officer's report differs from the address of record, to that address.
(c) The notice of the order of suspension shall clearly specify the
reason and statutory grounds for the suspension, the effective date
of the suspension, the right of the person to request an
administrative hearing, the procedure for requesting an
administrative hearing, and the date by which a request for an
administrative hearing shall be made in order to receive a
determination prior to the effective date of the suspension.
2.) A Mandatory Action Suspension based on Court Conviction
This type of suspension results from a guilty or no contest plea or
conviction after trial by a Court of Law. For example, say a
person gets arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol,
takes a breath test and is above a .08%. They hire a lawyer and
get a DMV hearing. The attorney wins the hearing and the action
is set aside or dismissed. However, the client does not retain the
lawyer to represent her in Court on the DUI charge and is
convicted for either Vehicle Code section 23152(a) or 23152(b).
Based on the conviction in Court the DMV will suspend the
person's drivers license for 6 months as a "mandatory action"
under California Law for being convicted of a first offense DUI.
This suspension will not be ordered by the Judge in Court because
as of 2006 the Courts no longer get involved in the suspensions of
a person's drivers license due to a DUI conviction, the action will
be initiated by the California Department of Motor Vehicles in
Sacramento and will be mailed to the licensee once the clerk of the
Court abstracts the judgment.
The long and the short of it is that California Law allows for many
different ways to suspend someone's license. In order to have the
best chance to avoid the loss of your driving privilege you should
speak to a qualified attorney familiar with DMV hearings and DUI
consequences. Our Lawyers are available to consult with you or a
loved one concerning any pending alcohol related criminal charge
or Department of Motor Vehicle case. We have over 20 years of
combined experience with defending all types of driver license
suspensions including APS, negligent operator hearings, excessive
blood alcohol, refusal allegations, medical, lack of skill, and zero
tolerance underage drinking and driving suspensions occurring in
Burbank, Glendale or Pasadena. A DMV hearing should be
requested in a timely manner.
Our attorneys can also provide representation and information
regarding the ability to acquire work related restricted driver's
license, critical need restrictions for employment and school,
temporary driving permits and administrative reviews and appeals
of wrongful actions. Contact our office or call us today to speak
with an experienced Lawyer.
For more information about DMV hearings for all DUI cases visit
Matthew Ruff Attorney at Law on the web.
Matthew J. Ruff, Esq.
Toll Free at 1-877-617-4485