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How Do I Get a Restricted License After a DUI


Restricted License After DUI

One of the most common problems facing an individual after a DUI arrest is what will happen with their driver’s license. If you are facing license suspense, you may be able to obtain a restricted driver's license.

DUI Lawyer George Gedulin explains how DUI arrests are a unique criminal offense. “The DUI case in California has two distinct parts, divided between the criminal court and the California DMV. Depending on your driving record and if you have any previous arrests or convictions for DUI, the consequences for a person’s driver’s license can vary significantly.”

Within 10 days of your arrest, your DUI attorney must request a hearing with the DMV to have a formal hearing where your license status will be addressed. With this request, your lawyer will receive all reports and evidence available to the DMV to decide if your driver’s license will be subject to suspension. The length and nature of suspension will depend on whether you have had any previous DUI arrests and if your license was suspended in those cases. A suspension can be imposed for multiple reasons relating to a DUI, not just for being under the influence.

Three Examples of How to Get a Restricted License

1) Jim was arrested for a suspected DUI in May 2016. He did not request an APS hearing and did not hire a criminal defense attorney to argue his driving privilege with the DMV. Jim’s driver’s license was suspended for 6 months. This is Jim’s 1st DUI arrest. No matter what happens with his criminal case Jim can apply for a restricted license with the DMV after serving 30 days of his suspension. Jim must register for alcohol education classes, and provide proof of SR-22 insurance. With these items and a new license fee paid to the DMV, he can get a restricted license. Jim can drive to and from work and to his DUI classes until his suspension is served. Jim’s BAC level at the time of driving was 0.08, and so he will not be required to install an IID in his car for the restricted license.

2) Walter is having a bad time at school and work and to add to his problems he was just arrested for his 2nd DUI. He thought this would never happen to him again and has had no issues with the police since his 1st DUI nearly 5 years ago. Walter had a relatively high BAC level of .20 on his blood-alcohol test. The DMV upheld his license suspension and informed him that his license will be suspended for 1 year. Walter calls his attorney and wants to know what he needs to do to get a restricted driver’s license. Fortunately for Walter, the process is straight forward. Before his criminal case is even concluded Walter can apply for a restricted after serving 90 days of his suspension. He must enroll in DUI related alcohol education course, obtain SR-22 insurance, and install an IID (Ignition Interlock Device) in his vehicle. Although Walter’s license is under restriction for the remainder of the year, he can drive to work, school, and attend all DUI classes.

3) Alyssa was arrested on April 15, 2016, for her 2nd DUI offense. Her first DUI arrest was on April 20, 2015 (Less than one year ago). Timing for Alyssa in her DUI case is going to be critical. An experienced lawyer will know that requesting an Administrative hearing with the DMV puts a hold on any license suspension. For someone with a very recent DUI arrest, this is very important. The DMV puts operator points on a driver’s license for every traffic offense. A DUI conviction or suspension due to DUI arrest will put two points on your license. Alyssa can potentially have four (4) points on her license within 1 year. This would put her in the Negligent Operator category and her license would be suspended for 1 year.

Alyssa was smart to hire an experienced DUI defense lawyer who argued against a license suspension long after her arrest date. If she did not have proper counsel and did not request the DMV hearing her license would be suspended for 1 year. A negligent operator suspension will usually not allow for a restricted license status even after six (6) months. Especially where a person is a negligent operator due to two DUI’s in one year the DMV is very unlikely to grant a restricted license.