Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson

247 N. Third Street, San Jose, CA 95112

Call Today for a Free Consultation | Se Habla Espanol


Will I Lose My Driver’s License After a California DUI Arrest?

Posted on in DUI

San Jose DUI defense attorneyThere is no question that drunk driving can be disastrous. Statistics show that alcohol-related crashes can cause serious injuries and even fatalities. That is why it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) in the United States. In 49 out of 50 states, the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08. (Utah uses a 0.05 percent standard.) Anyone who is over that amount can be arrested for DUI. Many motorists believe that being charged with a DUI is not really that big of a deal. However, a DUI charge is very serious and the penalties can range from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the circumstances. In California, offenders may face fines, probation, or imprisonment. But, does a DUI automatically mean your driver’s license will be taken away?   

Driving Privileges Under California Law

If you are stopped for suspicion of DUI and the police officer has probable cause to arrest you, it is important to understand your rights in regard to your driving privileges. The arresting officer must fill out an official police report and send a copy of the suspension or revocation form along with your confiscated driver’s license to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV will then review the documents, in addition to any blood test results that may have been taken at the time of your arrest.

Referred to as Administrative Per Se (APS), this is an immediate administrative action taken against your driving privileges only. This is separate from any court-ordered prison sentence, fine, or other penalty enforced if you are convicted for DUI.

You may request a hearing to contest your license suspension, and this must be done within 10 days upon receiving the suspension or revocation order. If you do not request a hearing, the DMV automatically suspends your driver’s license for four months.

In reviewing the case, if you and your attorney can prove that there was not a valid reason for the suspension or revocation, the action will be dismissed. Once the suspension period is over, your driver’s license will be returned to you after paying a $125 reinstatement fee to the DMV. For drivers who are under 21 and whose licenses are suspended under the Zero Tolerance Law according to the Vehicle Code, the reissue fee is $100. 

Suspension Periods

If you fail or refuse a blood or breath test at the time of your traffic stop, your license can be suspended for the following terms:

  • First offense: One-year suspension
  • Second offense (within 10-year period): Two-year revocation
  • Third offense (or subsequent offense within 10 years): Three-year revocation

It is important to note that you may apply for a restricted driver’s license through the DMV to drive to and from your job. In some situations, law enforcement may issue an “Order of Suspension and Temporary License” at the time of the DUI arrest. This entitles you to drive for 30 days after the order of suspension or revocation was implemented. 

Contact a San Francisco Criminal Defense Lawyer

Drinking and driving can result in devastating consequences. A DUI charge can lead to steep fines and time behind bars. In addition, a motorist who is caught operating a vehicle while intoxicated could lose his or her driving privileges. If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges, you need skilled legal counsel to avoid a conviction. Regardless if it is your first or third offense, the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson have a commanding knowledge of California DUI laws. Our tenacious San Jose, CA DUI defense attorneys will aggressively defend your right to drive. Call our office today at 408-246-3004 to schedule your free consultation.


Back to Top