What to do when your driver’s license is suspended for DUI

When drivers are charged with DUI, they may have their driver’s licenses suspended for a certain period of time.

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in California, you may have your driver's license suspended or revoked. The DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) is able to suspend your license for a period of time depending on the alcohol level or refusal to take a chemical test. Also, a DUI conviction results in a suspension. If your license is revoked or suspended, you can do things to get your license back sooner.

Losing your driver's license

According to California law, your driver's license may be suspended if you are driving with .08 BA (blood alcohol) level or greater and are age 21 or older, or .01 BA if you are on DUI probation or under 21. A refusal to take a chemical test also triggers a suspension. You may be served with a pink-slip suspension notice and temporary license at the time of your arrest based on blood alcohol level or refusal separate from the Court case, and you can request a hearing to challenge that suspension. Additionally, if there is a conviction for DUI, there is another suspension.

Suspension period

The pink-sheet suspension notice received at the time of arrest on a first offense can result in a four-month suspension if you are age 21 or older and have a BA of .08 or more. It is a year suspension for a refusal or a second offense within 10 years.

There is also a suspension for six months for the Court conviction for a first DUI or driving with .08 BA or more, and up to a two-year suspension for a second conviction within a 10-year period. Drivers who have three convictions within 10 years will lose their licenses for three years. A Court-conviction suspension may run at the same time as the pink-sheet suspension.

Getting your driver's license back

On a first offense pink-sheet suspension, you are eligible for a restricted license after one month of the four-month suspension. The restriction is to and from and in the course of your employment and your DUI program. You can convert the four-month suspension to a five-month restriction after the first month of that suspension. You will need to be enrolled in a California approved DUI program, have an SR-22 proof of insurance filed with DMV and pay a DMV reissue fee.

Additionally, if there is a DUI conviction in court, there is another six-month suspension from DMV for a first offense, but you are eligible immediately for the restricted license if you are in the DUI program and have an SR-22 after simply paying an additional reissue fee. It is important to keep in mind that these penalties may differ if the DUI offender is under age of 21, or has prior DUI convictions or suspensions.

Get your questions answered

If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI, you may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of losing your license, facing fines or potential custody, and suffering all of the other consequences that can stem from this offense. An attorney in California who has experience representing clients in DUI cases can answer your questions and help you get the best resolution of your case.