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DUI Suspension Periods

There are several formalities and procedures police officers must follow when investigating and arresting you for Driving Under the Influence. Police officers are bound by the law just as you are. When they do not properly follow the law during your arrest, it may result in an “unlawful arrest”. This is why it is important for all CA drivers to know their rights when stopped on suspicion of a DUI, and to contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible, in the case of an arrest.
Police are Bound by Laws that Protect You

How long will my license be suspended for a DUI in CA?:

The effects of a DUI suspension can be one of the most damaging and confusing aspects of the entire DUI process. For any given DUI; the courts & the DMV impose SEPARATE license suspensions. For most the majority of cases, the court & DMV suspension periods may be served at the same time (for example: someone with a basic 2nd DUI conviction, could potentially receive a court-triggered suspension of 2 years, and a DMV APS suspension of 1 year. Since credit for both of these suspensions can be earned at the same time, a 2nd DUI offense has a practical suspension period of 2 years, not 3).
It is highly recommended that you seek the help of a criminal defense lawyer who exclusively handles DUI & license suspensions to represent you through this ordeal.

  • If you are 21 or older at the time of your arrest:
    • 1st DUI has a potential license suspension of: 30 days + 10 months restricted
      • 4 months (suspended by the DMV) if your alcohol level is 0.08% or more
      • 6 months (suspended by the courts)
      • You may be eligible for a restricted license after 30 days
    • 2nd DUI has a potential license suspension of 3 months + 21 months w/IID:
      • 1 year (suspended by the DMV) if your alcohol level is 0.08% or more
      • 2 years (suspended by the courts) May be served at the same time as DMV suspension
      • You may be eligible for a restricted license after 90 days
    • 3rd DUI has a minimum license suspension of 6 months + 18 months restricted:
      • 1 year (suspended by the DMV) if your alcohol level is 0.08% or more
      • 2 years, up to 10 years (suspended by the courts)
      • You are ineligible for a restricted license if you received your 3rd DUI while on probation for a prior DUI offense
    • A “refusal” to take a chemical test during your arrest can result in:
      • 1 year suspension for 1st DUI
      • 2 year revocation for 2nd DUI (a revocation is a more severe form of suspension)
      • 3 year revocation for 3rd DUI (a revocation is a more severe form of suspension)
      • There is no provision to obtain a restricted license for refusal DUIs
  • If you were under the age of 21 at the time of your arrest:
    • If your blood alcohol level is 0 .01% or more you will be subject to a one year license suspension
    •  You will not be eligible for a restricted license

Getting a DUI Causes Lots of Problems with Your Ability to DriveWhen you are arrested, the officer will likely take your license and give you a pink colored temporary license and order of suspension.  You only have 10 days after your arrest, counting weekends and holidays, to request a DMV hearing to challenge the order of suspension. It is of the utmost importance to seek the help of a license suspension lawyer to represent you at your DMV hearing. If you do not request a hearing, the license suspensions discussed above will automatically go into effect 30 days after your arrest.  Requesting a hearing within 10 days of your arrest is crucial because after that time period you have given up your right to challenge the license suspension.