Restricted License After A DUI
restricted license

In my experience as a DUI attorney in Orange County, the most pressing concern for most people arrested for first-offense DUI is getting a restricted license so they can drive to and from work. Unfortunately, the procedure for obtaining a restricted license can be very complicated to anyone but an experienced San Juan Capistrano DUI lawyer.

Your Temporary License

When someone is arrested for DUI, the officer must confiscate their California driver’s license. If you have an out-of-state license, the officer will not take it but your privileges are still in jeopardy. The officer will give the arrested driver a pink piece of paper to act as their temporary driver’s license. This form contains paragraphs of fine print with complicated legal terms and lots of legal code sections. Even an Irvine DUI lawyer may have difficulty making it through this form. And the instructions for getting a restricted license are very tough to understand.

In summary, the form explains that the person arrested for DUI will automatically be suspended beginning 30 days from the date of arrest. This suspension is automatic unless the driver or the driver’s Huntington Beach DUI attorney calls a special division of the DMV called “driver safety” and requests a DMV hearing, called an “APS hearing”. If your  Rancho Santa Margarita DUI lawyer requests this hearing, then your license will not be suspended until and unless your DUI attorney loses that hearing. In fact, once your DUI lawyer asks for a hearing, the DMV will send you a new temporary driver’s license. This temporary is not a restricted license. Rather, your full driving privileges remain intact.

Two Suspensions Of Your Driving Privileges

If your Foothill Ranch DUI lawyer wins the APS hearing, then the DMV will not issue an APS driver’s license suspension. But this does not end your fight to keep your license. You see, the law gives the DMV two chances to suspend your license for DUI. The first is if you don’t request the DMV hearing or if your Fullerton DUI attorney loses that hearing. The second opportunity comes if you end up being convicted of a DUI in the Orange County court. You see, when someone is convicted of DUI in court, either by pleading guilty or by jury verdict, the court MUST report this conviction to the DMV. The DMV then must issue a “conviction” suspension or the person’s driving privileges. Of course, if your San Clemente DUI lawyer can get the charge reduced to a wet reckless, then you can avoid the conviction suspension.

Restricted License

The Length Of The Driver’s License Suspensions

The length of the APS suspension and the conviction suspension depend on many factors, such as whether you have any prior DUI convictions or APS suspensions within the past ten years. If you do, you are looking at a minimum one year APS suspension and a minimum two-year conviction suspension. If you have prior DUIs and you are charged with a refusal to take a breath test or blood test after arrest, you will NOT be eligible for a restricted license.

If it is a first-offense DUI and you did not refuse to take a blood or breath test after you were arrested, then the APS suspension is four months and the conviction suspension is six months. If you refused to take the post-arrest test, then the suspension is for one year without any possibility of getting a restricted license.

Your Mission Viejo DUI lawyer will explain that the APS suspension and the conviction suspension can run concurrently only if the APS suspension begins first. This complicated bit of legislation often makes it important for your Brea DUI attorney to do some important planning in your case. Failure to do so may result in an extra-long suspension of your driving privileges.

Getting A Restricted License

In most cases of first-offense DUI, the driver will be eligible for a restricted driver’s license after being suspended for 30 days. In order to get a restricted license, the driver needs:

  • Proof-of-enrollment in an approved alcohol program
  • An SR-22; and
  • $125.00 reissue fee

Your Dana Point DUI lawyer can help you find the nearest appropriate alcohol program and get you enrolled. A restricted license allows the driver to drive to and from the alcohol program and work and do any work related driving. For a first-offense DUI, the restriction lasts from five to 10 months.

If you have a prior DUI within the past ten years, then you will be eligible for a restricted license after one year if you didn’t refuse a test. If your DUI is an alcohol DUI and not a drug DUI, then you may even be eligible for a restricted license after 90 days if you also install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your car. The IID is a breath-testing machine that will not allow your car to start without a clean breath sample. You will be responsible for maintaining this machine for the next year and nine months.

Free Telephonic Consultation With An Orange County DUI Lawyer

If you have questions regarding the driver’s license suspension that results from a DUI, call The Law Offices of EJ Stopyro for a free and confidential consultation at (949) 559-5500. You can also visit our website at Our main offices is located at 32072 Camino Capistrano, 2ndfloor, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675, but we have meeting offices throughout Orange County.

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