DUI Defense DUI Arrest and License Suspension

Published on December 4th, 2013 | by Daniel R. Perlman


DUI Arrest and License Suspension

“On-the-spot” license suspension

California is one of many states to implement an immediate driver license suspension law for alcohol-impaired drivers. This is known as an “Administrative Per Se (APS)” or “on-the-spot” license suspension law. Avoiding adverse consequences, including suspension and restriction, to your license as a result of a DUI arrest will require you to prevail in court proceedings as well as a DMV hearing. The DMV hearing and any resultant administrative actions are independent of any criminal penalties imposed in court for conviction of the driving-under-the-influence (DUI) offense.

If your attorney is able to win in the court proceedings or make a plea bargain with the prosecutor, the DMV may set aside administrative actions, such as suspension. Certain plea arrangements could cause the DMV to take a second look and set aside the suspension even after it went into effect.

The “zero tolerance” law and license suspension

California APS law establishes two separate Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels for persons over 21 and those under 21.

The “zero tolerance law,” requires DMV to suspend for one year any driver under age 21 with a BAC of .01% or more as measured by a preliminary alcohol screening test, or who refuses or fails to complete the test. If you refuse to submit to a chemical blood or breath test as an underage drinker, your license may be suspended for a period of one to three years, depending on how many prior violations you have for this or any other DUI-related offense.

For persons over 21, APS law requires the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to suspend or revoke the driving privilege of persons who are arrested for driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more, or who refuse a chemical test upon arrest. Upon arrest, or detention (as applicable in the .01% APS law), the driver’s license is immediately confiscated and an order of suspension or revocation served.

Daniel R. Perlman
The Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman

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