In the state of California, driving is a way of life, and, for most people, being deprived of driving privileges is almost inconceivable.
However, if arrested on a DUI charge, you face license suspension. What happens next and when will you be able to drive again?
The DMV hearing
When charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, you face both criminal and administrative proceedings. For example, if you are a first-time offender, the court could order fines and fees and even possible jail time. On the other hand, the Department of Motor Vehicles hearing is administrative in nature and not connected to your court appearance. It concerns the suspension of your driver’s license. Discussion at the DMV hearing will focus on blood, breath or urine testing. Depending on the results, or your decision not to test, the hearing will address the length of your driver’s license suspension time. For a first offense, you can expect a suspension of four months.
Going for license reinstatement
Once you have completed the license suspension period, or probation or jail time as directed by the court, you can pursue the reinstatement of your driving privileges. To do so, you must take proof of auto insurance to the DMV along with any documents that pertain to the completion of your sentence. You must also pay all your fines and the reinstatement fee in order to get your license back.
The IID option
Keep in mind that you can immediately apply for a restricted driver’s license if you agree to the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. As long as you pass the associated breath test, the IID allows you to go anywhere at any time, like any other California driver.