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A person who is arrested for driving under the influence in Los Angeles faces very serious consequences. Not only will they receive criminal charges, but they can also see two different suspensions of their driver’s license. One license suspension is issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. In addition, a criminal conviction in court can result in a different type of driver’s license suspension that may allow the individual to drive under certain restrictions.
A person who is arrested for a first DUI offense is given a notice of the upcoming suspension by the police officer who makes the arrest. Afterward, the suspension automatically goes into effect 30 days following the date the individual was arrested unless they request an administrative hearing to challenge the suspension of their license. It is required that the request for the hearing is made within 10 days upon being arrested. If the request is filed in a timely manner, the individual is given a temporary license that allows him or her to drive while waiting for the results of the administrative hearing.
A hearing officer presides over the hearing. If the officer decides that suspending the person’s driver’s license is appropriate, the suspension goes forth. If the individual did not refuse testing at the time of their arrest, they will have their license suspended for fourth months. However, after the initial 30 days, the individual may be eligible for a restricted driver’s license. However, a restricted license requires work on the driver’s part. The individual must enroll in AB541 alcohol education classes for three months, get SR-22 supplemental insurance and pay $125 to have their license reinstated. The restricted license is only to allow the person to drive to and from work and to and from their alcohol education class. This special license is in place for a period of five months.
First-time DUI offenders in Los Angeles or three other counties — Alameda, Sacramento and Tulare — are also required to have an interlock ignition device installed in their vehicle for three months. When this device is in place, it gives the individual the ability to drive when they need to, although they must breathe into the device to ensure there is no alcohol present. If a person refused chemical testing after being arrested, their license is suspended for a year and no restricted license is given.
Individuals who hold commercial driver’s licenses are not eligible for restricted commercial licenses after committing a DUI offense. At the same time, the driver may be able to downgrade their license to one that is “Class C” and receive a restricted regular license after 30 days.
If a driver has a prior DUI conviction on their record, their driver’s license is suspended for one year. There is no eligibility for a restricted license if the individual refused testing or if he or she is serving probation for the previous offense while the new one was committed. If there was no refusal of testing and the individual wasn’t on probation, it would make them eligible for a restricted license after 90 days of license suspension. Additionally, the individual would have an IID placed in their vehicle for one year and be required to show proof that they enrolled in an SB-38 drug and alcohol class for 18 months.
Any driver with a suspended or restricted license who drives outside of the restrictions can receive additional criminal charges and probation violation.
If you have been arrested for a DUI, you need a skilled and dedicated team of Los Angeles DUI attorneys working for you. It’s your best bet to get the charges reduced or dropped.