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License suspension after a DUI arrest

Dale Gribow Jan. 24, 2015

Palm Desert drivers are aware that being convicted or suspected of drunk driving could lead to serious consequences. Most know that an arrest results in suspension or revocation of a driver’s license. However, many people don’t understand what that means, how it plays out in practice and what they can do about it.

When a police officer makes an arrest on suspicion of DUI must immediately send a suspension or revocation order, along with an arrest report, to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV then reviews the order and the report, reviews any test results and decides whether to uphold or deny the order. The driver has 10 days to request a hearing in which the driver can contest the suspension. If the DMV decides that the suspension or revocation is not warranted, the license is returned.At the time of the arrest, the officer confiscates the driver’s license. Typically, the officer then gives the driver a temporary license card that is good for 30 days. If the driver is not successful in getting the DMV to reinstate the driving privileges will be suspended after those 30 days are up, if not sooner. Once any suspension period is up, the license is typically returned.

One factor that can affect the suspension period is a chemical blood alcohol test, such as a blood or breath test. If the test showed a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher, a first offense results in a four-month suspension for drivers over age 21. For drivers younger than 21, driving privileges are suspended for a year. Penalties are higher for repeat offenders. Those who refuse to take a chemical test automatically get a one-year suspension after a first offense.

In some situations, drivers can get a restricted license during the suspension period, allowing them to drive to and from work or other special purposes. They must request these from a DMV office.

Of course, these are only some of the penalties that can follow a DUI arrest. There may also be criminal penalties, some of them severe,

Because the consequences of even a first-offense DUI arrest can be so serious, it’s important to have the help of an experienced attorney. California attorneys with experience in DUI defense can help the accused to review their options.