At the beginning of 2022, the law regarding DUI diversion changed. DUIs are no longer eligible for diversion in California. Please contact our office with any questions. Email us at abortellaw@gmail.com OR Call us at: (415) 523-7878

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Understanding Restricted License For DUI In California


California driver's license in a walletIn this article, you will discover:

  • The difference between a restricted license and a temporary license.
  • The benefits of an Ignition Interlock Device license.
  • How to obtain a restricted license in San Francisco.
Is A Restricted License The Same Thing As A Work Permit For A DUI In San Francisco And The Surrounding Counties?

Upon being arrested for a DUI, you’ll receive a temporary license, often in the form of a pink sheet, from either the arresting agency or the jail. This temporary license acts as a notice of suspension and remains valid for 30 days. To contest the suspension, you can request an administrative per se hearing with the DMV – but this must be done within ten days of your arrest.

Fortunately, our law firm is well-versed in handling these hearings and can represent you effectively.

Following the hearing, we can obtain a paper license that extends beyond the initial 30-day temporary license period. This paper license grants you all of the driving privileges associated with your regular license and it will typically remain valid for several months while your case progresses.

A restricted license or work permit, on the other hand, is typically available to those who have been convicted of a DUI charge and had their regular driver’s license suspended as a result. Generally speaking, a restricted license is useful if:

  1. You failed to request an administrative hearing to obtain a temporary license after your DUI arrest.
  2. You lost the administrative per se hearing at the DMV.
  3. You’ve been convicted of a DUI in court.

For a first-offense DUI conviction, people usually have three options regarding their license:

Serve The Suspension

You can choose to wait out the suspension period, which typically lasts six months. During this time, you won’t have a valid license and cannot legally drive.

Obtain A Work-Restricted License

This type of license allows you to commute exclusively to and from work. You can apply for this license after one month of your suspension period. The license then lasts for one year and requires SR-22 insurance, which is considered high-risk insurance. Additionally, enrollment in a DUI school and payment of a reissue fee are required.

It’s important to note that if you do opt for a work-restricted license, you should carry the documentation proving your eligibility whenever you’re driving. This is because police officers regularly use license plate scanners to ensure driver compliance.

Apply For An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) License

Another type of restricted license, often the preferred choice due to its flexibility, is the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) license. With this license, you have the freedom to drive anywhere, anytime, without restrictions, as long as you have the IID installed in your vehicle.

The process to obtain this license involves providing proof of SR22 insurance, DUI school enrollment, fee payment, and proof of the IID installation, which is typically provided by the installation company. However, it’s crucial to ensure the paperwork contains accurate information before visiting the DMV to avoid any issues with obtaining the license.

Unlike the work-restricted license, there’s no 30-day waiting period for the IID license. Typically, for a first-time DUI offense, the IID requirement lasts for six months. I can usually refer individuals to a company that offers free installation of the IID, and while there’s a monthly fee, it’s a relatively affordable and safe option. However, it’s important to note that you’re restricted to driving only vehicles equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device during this period.

Do I Have To Get A Breathalyzer In My Car If I Get A Restricted License After A DUI In San Francisco?

Work-restricted licenses and IID-restricted licenses are completely separate. As such, a work-restricted license does not require you to have a breathalyzer or an Ignition Interlock Device installed in your car.

A work-restricted license only allows you to drive to and from work, or for work-related purposes. Because of this, it’s advisable to carry documentation, such as a calendar showing your work schedule, to verify the purpose of travel if you happen to be stopped by law enforcement.

On the other hand, the ignition interlock device license is more comprehensive. It allows unrestricted driving anywhere, anytime, not solely limited to work-related travel. With an IID license, you have the freedom to drive without constraints, making it distinctly different from the work-restricted license.

Choosing between an ignition interlock device (IID) and a work-restricted license depends on various factors. Opting for an IID license is often considered the safest route because, with the IID functioning properly in your vehicle, you eliminate concerns about encountering legal issues during traffic stops.

What’s more, violating a work-restricted license could lead to severe consequences, including fines, vehicle impoundment, citations for driving with a suspended license, new criminal charges, and potential jail time of up to six months for probation violation. Given these risks, the IID route is typically recommended as a safer option.

For more information on Restricted Licenses After A DUI In California, 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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