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Is The Driver’s License Always Suspended After A DUI Conviction?


A driver’s license is always suspended after a DUI conviction. There are two separate cases that will result from a DUI charge: a DMV case and a court case. The court case is a criminal case, and the DMV case is a civil case. A conviction for a first-time DUI with no injury typically results in a license suspension of six months. If the blood alcohol level was 0.20 and someone pled to that in court or that value was reported to the California DMV, then the driver would be looking at a nine or 10-month license suspension. Suspensions can be shortened by getting a restricted license or an interlock license, depending on which county the driver is in. If a person obtains high-risk SR-22 insurance, is enrolled in a DUI school and pays the appropriate re-issue fee after a DUI conviction, then they will be able to obtain a restricted license right away.

The problem that someone may face in getting a restricted license right away is the administrative hearing, which is the civil, DMV-related part of the case. If a person does not win the civil action, then they will be looking at what is typically a four-month suspension. This suspension can be turned into 30 days of no driving followed by the ability to get a restricted license. If it looks like we are not going to be able to save the license, then we will try to time it so that any suspension would run at the same time. We will also see if we can have the 30-day requirement of no driving decreased to fewer than 30 days.

Someone who gets a DUI conviction needs to be very careful to not get back behind the wheel until after their suspension period has ended. They need to confirm with their lawyer and check with the DMV to make sure that all of the hoops have been jumped through. One of the many bad mistakes that a person can make after a DUI conviction is assuming that they can drive when they cannot. If a person is pulled over while driving on a suspended license, then they could lose their license for up to a year or longer. In addition, they could face probation revocation, which could result in up to six months in jail.

Can I Regain My License When It Has Been Suspended After A DUI Conviction?

In order to regain a driver’s license after a DUI conviction, a person would need to serve the period of suspension and obtain SR-22 insurance. There are a number of very good companies in California that supply SR-22 insurance. In particular, I have seen great customer service with Breathe Easy Insurance, and they cover all of California. They have helped many out-of-state drivers regain their licenses and deal with the DMV in Sacramento (which is the headquarters for DMV if a person lives out of state).

Enrolling in and completing a DUI school is something that needs to happen in order for a license to be fully reinstated. If a person is enrolled in a DUI school that lasts nine months (which might be the case if they had a high blood alcohol level or pled to a refusal allegation in court), then it could end up taking a full year for them to have their license fully reinstated.

The more serious the case, the more difficult it is to regain a license. There are four counties in California that currently require a person to have an ignition interlock device in their vehicle for the five months following a suspension before they can have their license back. These counties are Sacramento, Tulare, Alameda and Los Angeles. In 2019, every county in the state of California will require a person to obtain an ignition interlock device in order to have their license reinstated. The details are still being sorted out, but as of now, it is important to understand that the laws will be getting stricter in this regard. Finding a highly qualified DUI lawyer will be important because the penalties are getting more stringent.

For more information on Suspension Of Driver’s License After A DUI, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 523-7878 today.

Aaron Bortel

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