How Can I Get A Restricted License After My DUI?
The California Legislature passed new drunk driving laws a few years ago, allowing more California drivers to obtain restricted licenses. This means that if you have a DMV license suspension for DUI or a DUI conviction and did not refuse the chemical test, you can avoid serving any suspension period if you are willing to install an ignition interlock device on your car.
Unlike the typical work/program restricted license, where you would not be able to drive for a certain period of time and then be restricted to driving for work and to and from your DUI program (VC 13353.7), you can drive anywhere as long as you drive the car with the IID. (VC 13353.6).
Because IID laws only apply to drivers 21 and older and to DUI alcohol, your driving privileges may be suspended if you are convicted of driving under the influence of drugs. (VC 23152(f) and VC 23153(f)).
Suspended License Law in California
The DUI license suspension and restriction laws are complicated and confusing. Whether you qualify for a restricted license is determined by a number of factors, including whether you were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (VC 23152(a) or VC 23153(a)), drugs (VC 23152(f), or VC 23153(f)), or a combination of drugs and alcohol (VC 23152(g) or 23153(g)), prior DUI convictions, if you caused injury, or if you are a commercial license holder.
You need an attorney who knows the suspended license/restricted license laws and can explain the law to you. In some cases, the penalty for driving on a suspended license is worse than the original penalty for DUI.
DUI defense attorney Richard Wagner has helped hundreds of clients navigate through the complicated web of DUI-restricted license laws. (See VC 13352, VC 13353, et al.) It begins with a defense to the charges of driving under the influence and a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over 0.08 percent (VC 23152 or VC 23153).
Mr. Wagner thoroughly examines your case for defenses, including whether the police had reasonable suspicion to pull you over or probable cause to arrest you.
Additionally, Mr. Wagner represents his clients at the Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing. This hearing before a DMV hearing officer is a separate battle from the criminal proceedings in court.
However, the best DUI Attorneys know how to use the DMV hearings to gain a competitive advantage in your court case. The DMV hearings provide an excellent opportunity for the DUI Attorney to subpoena evidence such as body-worn camera footage or even police officer testimony without the prosecutor's knowledge or interference.
Keep in mind that even if you win the DMV hearing, the DMV will also suspend your driving privileges upon a court conviction of DUI. However, if you voluntarily install an IID, you will be allowed to drive without restriction as long as you drive the car with the IID.
The IID-restricted license is not available if you get convicted of driving under the influence of drugs (VC 23152(f) or VC 23153(f)), but it is available if you are convicted of driving under the influence of a combination of alcohol and drugs (VC 23152(g) or VC 23153(g)).
A driver whose license is suspended due to a conviction for driving under the influence of drugs [VC 23152(f)] or because the driver (21 and over) elected not to install an IID on a first-offense DUI alcohol can still apply for a restricted license.
This type of restricted license allows you to drive to and from work, for all work-related activities, and to and from the DUI education program.
Many DUI lawyers believe if you are convicted of a first offense of DUI drugs under VC 23152(f), you cannot get any type of restricted license. However, it appears that VC 13352.4 does allow those convicted of a first DUI drug offense to get the work/program restriction.
If you have a commercial license, you may apply for a Class C (noncommercial) driver's license and get a restricted license. There are no restricted commercial licenses.
If you are under 21, you may apply for Critical Need to Drive Restriction, if the DMV suspended or delayed your driving privilege as a result of violating VC 23136 – The Zero Tolerance Law. (VC 13353.8).
Warning: If you are kicked out of the DUI program for failing to comply with the program requirements your restricted license will be terminated and your license will be suspended for the remaining period of the suspension. (VC 13352(e)).
What Happens If I Drive On A Suspended License?
When a DUI offender is caught driving while their license is suspended due to a DUI conviction (VC 14601.2), the penalties may surprise you. This is because the penalty is often worse than the penalty for a first-time DUI.
The California Vehicle Code says that anyone caught driving on a suspended license due to a DUI conviction must be punished with imprisonment in the county jail for not less than ten days but not more than six months. In addition, the law requires that you install an IID and pay a hefty fine.
Severe repercussions accompany IID restriction violations. Tampering with an IID could result in a jail sentence of up to 6 months. Additionally, the driver's license is suspended or revoked until the DUI suspension ends.
The driver's license can be restored once the suspension or restriction has ended. An 22 insurance certificate is required for reinstatement.
DUI Defense Attorney Richard Wagner is Here to Help!
No matter how many DUIs you've had or if you've been arrested or convicted for alcohol/drug-related driving, you may lose or have limited access to your license. This can be a huge issue in SoCal, where cars are our lifeline. Richard Wagner, a DUI defense lawyer, has helped many people just like you regain their driving privileges. He offers free, private consultations to discuss your options. You may contact him at his Irvine office by calling 714-721-4423 or sending him an email at [email protected].