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Driver's License Consequences After a DUI

DUI Law in CA and Your Driver's License

In Fresno and California, the laws are tough when it comes to driving under the influence (DUI) offenses. If you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, you will be arrested for a DUI. For minors, the BAC limit is only 0.01 percent, and for commercial vehicle operators, the limit is 0.04 percent BAC.

If you are charged with a DUI offense, you may have your driver's license suspended and/or revoked. This is done through an administrative process with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and is separate from the criminal proceeding. Exactly how long your driver's license will be suspended will depend on whether you had any prior DUI convictions or DMV hearings. If you are charged with a felony DUI, the penalties will be even harsher.

DUI Offenses in California?

  • First DUI offense: The first DUI offense is charged as a misdemeanor, and your driver's license will be suspended for four (4) months from the DMV administrative hearing, and six (6) months after a criminal conviction.
  • Second DUI offense: After a second DUI offense within 10 years of a prior DUI offense, your driver's license will be suspended for one year from the DMV administrative hearing, and two years after a criminal conviction.
  • Third DUI offense: After receiving a third DUI within a 10 year period, your driver's license will be suspended for one year from the DMV administrative hearing, and three years after a criminal conviction.

The penalties are different for a DUI when the driver is under the age of 21. In that case, they will lose their license for one year after the first DUI offense.

Implied Consent Law in California

California has a law known as "implied consent." This means that you effectively agree to submit to breath or blood chemical testing to determine your blood alcohol content in exchange for the privilege of driving and having a driver's license. You have to right to refuse chemical testing, but may face harsher penalties for refusal.

If you refuse to submit to a BAC chemical test after arrest, you will face an automatic driver's license suspension. The suspension will last one year for a first DUI offense, two years for a second DUI, and three years for a third DUI.

Restricted License After a DUI

In Fresno, after a first DUI offense, you may receive a restricted driver's license to allow you to drive to and from work, during work, and to and from a DUI school. This will be a five-month license issued after you have served the first 30 days of the DMV administrative suspension. You will not be able to have unrestricted driving privileges returned until after you complete DUI/alcohol school.

After your first DUI offense, you can get a restricted driver's license if:

  • you consented to a chemical test of your BAC;
  • your BAC was 0.08%, or 0.04% for commercial driver's license,
  • you are 21 years of age or older, and do not have any other restrictions on your driver's license.

After a second DUI offense within 10 years, you must wait 90 days from the date of the conviction to obtain a restricted driver's license. Additionally, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in all of your cars. You will also have to file an SR-22 certificate, register for an approved DUI school, and pay all the fees associated with having your driver's license reinstated.

How Can a Fresno DUI Lawyer Help?

If you are facing DUI charges, contacting an experienced, Fresno DUI attorney will give you the best chance at success. The criminal DUI charges and DMV administrative license suspension are two separate processes, and a lawyer who specializes in DUI defense can represent you during the entire process. A DUI lawyer who knows the law, the courts, the judges, and the prosecutors involved will do everything possible so that you can keep your driver's license and driving privileges.

Contact an Attorney

Wapner Jones, PC have decades of experience handling cases in courts throughout central California. Whether you were arrested in Fresno, Madera, Kings, or Tulare Counties, local experience gives them the understanding to provide you with the highest quality DUI and criminal defense representation.

If you have questions regarding a DUI or criminal case, do not hesitate to contact our offices to schedule a consultation. Fill out our online contact form, or call (559) 257-4707.

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    About Terry A. Wapner Terry A. Wapner has been practicing criminal law in California's San Joaquin Valley for over 31 years, ...
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