Will I lose my driving license after DUI?

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Assigning liability following an automobile accident can be difficult at times. If both drivers have been drinking prior to the accident, determining who is at fault can be even more difficult. In addition to recovering from the injuries suffered, you may also be facing the loss of your license. Talking to an experienced drunk driving accident attorney can help you sort out liability and help you understand what happens from here.

Driving while under the influence (DUI) is treated as a serious offense by many state and federal courts and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). It is estimated at least 200,000 people in California are arrested for DUI every year. DUI accidents can be devastating and often result in bodily harm and car damages, alongside emotional and mental anguish.

The DUI laws in California are some of the strictest in the nation and open the door to a variety of punishments if you are found in violation. Punishments include fines, jail time or a treatment program. At minimum, you may see your license suspended.

When Could I Lose My License After DUI?  

California has a program known as ‘Admin Per Se’ (APS) that went into force in 1990 to deter drunk driving. It stipulates that the DMV must suspend or revoke the license of anyone arrested for DUI if he or she:

1. Have a BAC higher than 0.01% if they are already on DUI probation
2. Have a BAC higher than 0.04% if driving a commercial vehicle
3. Have a BAC higher than 0.08% if driving a non commercial vehicle
4. Does not complete or refuses a test (blood or breath) to determine BAC

In addition, a court will often suspend driving privileges themselves and make you take a DUI program before getting your license back. Penalties under APS are independent of any penalties that a court will impose if you are convicted of DUI.

An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to work with you if you find yourself with a DUI, and will be able to explain your options if you do find your license suspended or revoked.

How Can I Get My License Reinstated After DUI?

The reinstatement process is time consuming and you must complete it in its entirety, and get a new license before you can drive legally. There are several steps to follow if you are seeking to get your license reinstated.

  1. Complete DUI traffic school and obtain a Notice of Completion
  2. Complete other sentencing conditions. This could include a rehab or deterrence program, or installing an interlock device in your car
  3. Fulfill the entire period of your suspension
  4. Obtain proper car insurance
  5. Officially apply for reinstatement

How Can I Get My License Reinstated Under APS?

Under APS, the DMV will review the details of the case, and you have 10 days from the Order of Suspension/Revocation to request a hearing to try and show the restrictions due to APS are not justified. You have the ability to use an attorney for representation and the opportunity to present evidence that might help your case. If the DMV review finds the APS penalties are without basis, the case will be set aside.

If you have been involved in a drunk driving accident, even if you were driving under the influence as well, the best thing you can do is talk with an experienced drunk driving accident attorney. The J&Y Law Firm fights for the rights of injury victims in throughout California.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.