Protect your driver’s license after a DUI arrest

When you are arrested for a DUI, you face both an administrative suspension action from DMV and a separate criminal case. Each matter is heard independently in separate proceedings with their own sets of rules and procedures. Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP has represented clients in both of these matters since 1987. We take prompt action immediately following your arrest to ensure that your hearing request is made in a timely fashion, thus preserving your right to contest the DMV suspension and to continue driving until the hearing outcome is determined.

Deadline for filing your request for a hearing with the DMV

If you have been arrested for a VC 23152(b) or a DUI with a BAC level of 0.08, the arresting officer will seize your license and then issue you a 30 day temprorary license or "pink" license.  This document serves as your driver's license for the next 30 days, as well as notice of your right to request a DMV hearing to contest the suspension action. You only have 10 calendar days from the date of your DUI arrest to request this hearing and failure to do so would result in the DMV imposing the suspension after the temporary license expires.

Understanding what happens at a DMV hearing

The DMV officer does not consider your innocence or guilt, but rather the circumstances surrounding your DUI arrest, when deciding whether you can retain your driver’s license or not.  Therefore, a dismissal of the criminal case or pleading to a lesser non-DUI offense would have no bearing on the DMV hearing outcome. Some issues our lawyers might address during your DMV hearing include:

  • Probable cause for your stop
  • Whether you were lawfully arrested
  • Whether the results of the blood or breath test are accurate
  • Whether the officer actually observed you driving
  • Whether officer and/or crime lab complied with Title 17

Restricted driver’s license

A DUI arrest can potentially result in a 6 month license suspension by the court if a DUI conviction results and/or the DMV administrative suspension is upheld after an APS hearing. The length of the suspension on a 1st offense DUI is typically 6 months on the court suspension and 4 months on the DMV APS suspension with eligibility for a restricted license after completion of a 30 day "hard" suspension.  Therefore, after completing a 30 day period of no driving, a 1st offender can obtain a restricted license to drive to and from his/her DUI program, as well as work related driving. Not all 1st offenders are eligible for restricted driving privileges. For example, 1st DUI involving a chemical test refusal can result in a mandatory 1 year suspension with no eligibility for a restricted license.  Furthermore, certain counties in California, such as Los Angeles, require an ignition interlock device or IID to be installed in one's vehicle as a condition of the restricted license if a DUI conviction results from the court proceedings.