Driver’s License Suspension

When a motorist is pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, the individual is given a choice to submit to either a blood or breath test in order to determine the person’s blood alcohol concentration. If a blood or breath test indicates that the individual’s blood alcohol concentration exceeds 0.08% or if the individual refuses to submit to the chemical test, the arresting officer will immediately confiscate the individual’s driver license. If the driver is licensed to drive in a state other than California, the arresting officer will not confiscate driver’s license.

At this time, the motorist will be provided with a pink sheet of paper notifying the individual of the suspension of their license, an explanation of the laws and procedures involved in a license suspension, and a temporary license valid for thirty (30) days, provided the driver’s license was not expired and the individual was not driving with a suspended license.

Following a DUI arrest, an individual or the individual’s attorney has ten days (10), including weekends and holidays, to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to schedule an Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing in order to contest the license suspension. Failure to schedule a hearing with the California DMV within the allowable time period will result in the automatic suspension of the driver’s license which takes effect thirty (30) days following the driver’s arrest.

The Driver Safety Office division of the California Department of Motor Vehicles is the entity that presides over these APS hearings. Specially trained hearing officers employed by the Driver Safety Office act as both the prosecutor and the judge in these hearings. During the hearing, an individual’s attorney can question witnesses, examine evidence, and assert objections to the DMV’s case.

Following the Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing, the DMV hearing officer will issue a ruling regarding the status of the individual’s suspended license. If it is determined by the hearing officer that there was no basis for the license suspension or revocation, the individual’s driver license will be returned. If the individual’s license suspension is upheld, the suspension will be instated for a period of four (4) months, or longer, if the individual has prior DUI convictions. If the individual refused to submit to a chemical test, the license suspension will be extended to a period of one year.

If the individual was under the age of twenty one at the time of the arrest and submitted to a chemical test or preliminary alcohol screening test, the individual’s driving privilege will be suspended for a period of one year, as stated in the Zero Tolerance Law. Following the completion of the one year license suspension period, the cost to reissue the individual’s license if the individual was under the age of twenty one at the time of arrest is $100.

If a hearing officer determines the license suspension was valid, the motorist is eligible to apply for a restricted license from the DMV. In order to apply for the restricted license, an individual must be able to show proof of enrollment in a DUI treatment program, provide proof of financial responsibility (i.e. California Insurance Proof Certificate (SR-22)), and be able to pay the $125 mandatory license reissuing fee. This restricted license allows the individual to drive to and from their DUI treatment program and, if applicable, to and from work.

Neither a plea to a reduced offense or a dismissal of criminal charges is a valid defense to a driver license suspension. The only court proceedings that have any impact on the DMV and an individual’s license suspension are an acquittal or a finding of innocence on a violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23152, subdivision b, driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or above.

Devermont & Devermont
Attorneys at Law

429 Santa Monica Blvd. #210   •   Santa Monica, CA 90401
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"Derek is a competent professional lawyer who knows how to get things done without the bureaucratic process found at most firms. I was in need of help quickly and Derek stepped up right away with the know how and tenacity to tackle any problem. I felt completely comfortable being out of town and having Derek take care of my issue and he solved it with ease. I recommend him greatly and would absolutely work with him in the future." Dan F


"After being cited for a Misdemeanor DUI, I was influenced by many to just face the consequences because "hiring a lawyer never works out in your benefit". I was terrified and confused until I met Mr. Devermont so I decided to take my chances. He assured me that I didn't have to worry anymore, and even at times where I wanted to give up he fought harder. My BAC was .11 but Derek managed to get my citation reduced to a dry reckless. I would highly recommend him to anyone!" Kelly B


"Derek Devermont is the best DUI lawyer anyone can ever ask for. Not only is he competent and industrious, Derek would go the extra mile for his clients to ensure the best possible outcome. I was unfortunately charged with DUI when I was 20 years old. Without me doing anything (appear in court, speak to the judge, etc), Derek won the case for me. Derek's favorite saying goes like this "don't worry, leave the worrying to me. I'm your lawyer." Thanks to Derek, I was able to keep my driving privileges, and preserve my life. He secured a not guilty verdict and erased any license suspension. " Jennifer F