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Understanding Court and Administrative Suspended Licenses in California

Drivers in California who are arrested for drunk driving can have their driver’s license suspended in two different ways: Department of Motor Vehicles administrative suspension or a court-mandated license suspension. Let’s look at the differences between the two.

Administrative Suspension

The administrative license suspension program, called the Admin Per Se (APS), allows a police officer to suspend your driver license during a drunk driving arrest if:

  • You have a breath alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.
  • You refuse chemical testing (most likely breath or blood) before being arrested.

If you have a valid California driver license, the police officer will take it, send it to the California DMV and issue a temporary license to you, which is valid for 30 days.

The DMV will automatically review the police officer’s sworn report and accompanying documents to determine if the suspension is valid. If there is no basis for the APS, the suspension will be dismissed.

You have 10 days from receiving your APS to request a hearing before the effective date of the suspension. Before the hearing, you may request to review any of the DMV’s evidence against you to help support you in the hearing, which will only address the circumstance of your offense:

  • Were you lawfully arrested?
  • Did you have a BrAC of .08 or more while driving?
  • Did you understand your driving privileges would be revoked if you did not submit to a chemical test?
  • Did the police officer have reasonable cause to believe you were driving drunk?

Requesting a hearing will allow you to retain your driving privileges until you have your hearing. If you do not request a hearing, your suspension begins 30 days after your arrest.

If you present a good cause during your hearing that you should be able to keep your license, the suspension may be revoked.

Court-Ordered Suspension

If you are convicted of a DUI in court, you will receive a court-ordered license suspension. If you already served your 30-day suspension, you won’t be required to serve an additional 30 days of suspension.

You will be eligible for a restricted license if you didn’t refuse to submit to a chemical test and agree to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. You must complete the 30-day suspension before you’re eligible for a restricted license and able to install an IID.

Read more about how long your driver license will be suspended for a drunk driving conviction in California.

Intoxalock Can Help

If you’re convicted of a DUI, Intoxalock can help you regain your driving privileges. We have been installing IIDs in California for more than 20 years and have more than 375 installation centers in the state. Go here to get a free quote.


Category: Drunk Driving

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