License Suspension for DUI
Understand California's DUI Penalties
If you were arrested for driving under the influence, then one of the penalties you could face is suspension of your driver's license, preventing you from getting back behind the wheel.
Suspension is initiated by a criminal arrest, but is carried out by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), making license suspension a civil matter.
How Long Will My License Be Suspended?
Penalties differ in proportion with the offense. For a first arrest for DUI (if you took the chemical test) your license could be suspended for four months. DUI suspension lengths in California are:
- 4-month suspension – First offense
- 1-year suspension – Second and subsequent offenses
For drivers who refuse to take the breath, blood, or urine test after a DUI arrest, or are under the age of 21 at the time of arrest, their license could be suspended for:
- 1-year suspension – First offense
- 2-year revocation – Second offense within 10 years
- 3-year revocation – Third offense within 10 years
Order of Suspension and Temporary License
If you are arrested for drunk driving, the arresting officer will take your driver's license and issue an order of suspension in addition to a temporary license. This temporary license is good only until A) the listed expiration date, or B) the result of your DMV hearing. The notice of suspension will have all the information you need about petitioning for a DMV administrative license hearing.
Petitioning for a Restricted License
If you are unable to get your driving privileges restored, you may be able to petition for restricted driving privileges. This does not necessitate a hearing. It also cannot be discussed or decided at the DMV hearing. This requires a separate appointment at the DMV. If granted, the restricted license allows the offender to drive to and from work only.
California Vehicle Code § 14601
It is illegal to drive while your driving privileges are suspended or revoked per VC § 14601. If you are convicted of a violation of this code, you can receive a jail sentence of five days to six months as well as a fine of $300 – $1,000.
If you were arrested for driving under the influence in Los Angeles, contact the DUI defense lawyers at Gold & Witham. With more than 40 years of experience and proven defense methods on our side, Gold & Witham has what it takes to fight your license suspension.