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FAQs Regarding California Drivers License Suspension

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A drivers license suspension limits your freedom and may even cause you to lose your job if the job requires a license or a clean driving record. If you are arrested or charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, you may face several different potential penalties. These penalties include fines, time in jail, probation, alcohol safety classes, community service, and more. One consequence of a DUI arrests and convictions that may have a significant impact on your life is the suspension of your driver’s license.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will suspend or revoke your driver’s license if you are arrested for suspicion of DUI and any of the following occur:

  • A chemical test shows a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.01% and you are under the age of 21;

  • A chemical test shows a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.01% while you are on probation for DUI;

  • A chemical test shows a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04% while you were driving a commercial vehicle, such as a semi-truck;

  • A chemical test shows a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more while you were driving a regular passenger vehicle; OR

  • You refused to take a BAC test or failed to complete the BAC test.

Additionally, a first-time DUI conviction can result in an additional four month suspension and subsequent DUI convictions may cause a one year suspension or more.

What should you do following a license suspension?

Usually, the arresting officer will take your driver’s license and issue you an Order of Suspension/Revocation. If you did not receive an Order, you will receive one in the mail from the DMV. The Order includes a 30-day temporary license, and the suspension goes into effect once the temporary license expires. If, for some reason, the officer did not take your license, you will be expected to surrender your license by taking it into a DMV office or mailing it.

Can I appeal my suspension?

You may appeal your suspension with the DMV by requesting a hearing, however this step must be taken within 10 days of your arrest or license suspension. If you have a hearing, the DMV will be reviewed whether or not your suspension or revocation was justified.

What if you are caught driving on a suspended or revoked license?

You should not drive if your license was suspended or revoked. If law enforcement pulls you over and you do not have a valid license, you will likely face an increased time period of suspension and you may even be sentenced to up to five years in prison. The exact consequences of driving on a suspended or revoked license depend on the original length of suspension and the circumstances behind the suspension.

Can you drive to work or school?

A suspended license does not let you drive to work or school. However, an experienced DUI defense attorney can assist you in applying for a restricted license. This restricted license allows you to drive yourself to work, school, or other important obligations. People convicted of DUI for the first time may often qualify for restricted licenses if they complete a DUI program.

If your license has been suspended or revoked for DUI, you should contact an experienced DUI attorney at Beck Law, P.C. as soon as possible for assistance in getting your license back.

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