Will I lose my license for a DUI?
So you’ve been arrested for a DUI and the first thing that comes to your mind is “what’s going to happen to my license?”
I’m going to talk about the license suspension consequences and the possibility of getting a restricted license if you were arrested for a first offense DUI.
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So if you’ve been arrested for a DUI, the DMV gets two bites at the apple in trying to suspend your license.
What do I mean by that? It means that the DMV can suspend your license twice if you get convicted of a DUI. And yes that sounds extremely unfair, I get it.
But let me explain to you the different ways that the DMV, again, has two bites at the apple in trying to take your license away.
The first chance that the DMV has in suspending your license is what’s called an “Administrative Per Se Suspension”(APS).
And this happens after you’ve been lawfully arrested for a DUI. After your arrest, the DMV can try to suspend your license for anywhere from 4 to 6 months. The four month suspension would only apply if you decide not to drive whatsoever.
So if you end up losing your license after the hearing and if the DMV decides to suspend your license, you can choose not to drive whatsoever for four months.
We live in san Diego, so it’s very difficult to get around just relying upon public transportation. Most of my clients of course need their vehicles in order to drive to work or from school, so the DMV recognizes that and they give you two options in terms of trying to get your restricted license.
Let’s talk about that.
One of the options is the IID or Ignition Interlock Device option, oftentimes called a breathalyzer. What that means is that you will install an ignition interlock device in your car and then follow other measures (for instance signing up for your DUI courses, paying a fine to the DMV and submitting what’s called an S.R. 22 or proof of financial responsibility).
If this is done, then the DMV will allow you to drive anywhere. It wouldn’t limit you just to and from work or to and from school. You could in fact drive anywhere as long as those conditions are met.
The IID for the first suspension can last up to about four months.
Let’s say that you don’t want to install the ignition interlock device in your car.
Well, the DMV will still allow you to apply for a restricted license that will allow you to drive to and from work, within the scope of your employment, and to and from school.
But there are certain conditions that also need to be met before you can get that type of restricted license.
The difference is that for this type of restricted license you have to wait to drive for the first 30 days of your suspension, meaning the first 30 days will be a hard suspension.
Then after that you can apply for your restricted license as long as you enroll in your DUI classes, you get the S.R. 22 (again, the proof of insurance or proof of financial responsibility) over to the DMV, and then of course if you pay the DMV fine.
Then, in those circumstances you would be able to apply for that second type of restricted license.
So let’s talk about the second bite of the apple. Meaning the second chance that the DMV has at suspending your license, or in other words, penalizing you a second time in trying to take your license away.
Now the second suspension only applies if you’ve been convicted of a DUI.
So for instance if you were convicted of a wet reckless, a dry reckless or something other than a DUI, then the second suspension wouldn’t necessarily apply to you. It would only apply if you get convicted of a DUI which will trigger what’s called a mandatory suspension.
And the second suspension will carry over another six months of a suspension on your license.
If you have a blood alcohol level of 0.20% or greater, then the DMV can suspend your license for longer. The DMV can suspend your license for up to 10 months in that particular situation.
Now keep in mind even if you did get convicted of a DUI which would trigger the mandatory suspension, you can still apply for a restricted license. You would just have to make sure that those conditions are met, and of course that you pay another fine to the DMV in order to get the restricted license intact.
Now also keep in mind that if you refuse the chemical breath test (meaning the breath or blood test at the station), then the restricted license would not apply to you. If it is deemed that you refused an actual chemical test then you would not be eligible for a restricted license.
So I know that I’ve thrown a lot of information and numbers at you that can make the situation overwhelming, but please do not be overwhelmed. I understand that there’s a lot of information at play and there’s a ton of moving variables when you’re dealing with the DUI and the DMV.
So if you’re in a situation where you’ve been arrested for a DUI and you’re concerned about your license, please make sure to give us a call and we’d be more than happy to discuss your options and to lay all the information out to you so that you have a clear idea as to what to expect regarding your license and a potential suspension.