DMV Laws

First DUI

If you have been arrested for Driving Under the Influence for the first time you have 10 days to contact the DMV or your license will be automatically suspended.  It is recommended that you contact an attorney before speaking with the DMV.


There are two ways to be suspended.  That can be through the automatic administrative process that is initiated when you are arrested and your license confiscated by police, or, it can happen when the DMV receives electronic notice from the court that you were convicted of a DUI.  The automatic suspension of your license will result in four months of suspension.  However, there are ways to beat the suspension or at least reduce significantly the time you are suspended.  Timing is very important and should be discussed with an attorney.


At the time of  the administrative hearing the DMV must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that (1) there was a reasonable suspicion that you were violating traffic laws, (2) you were placed under arrest lawfully, and (3) that you drove the vehicle with  .08 percent alcohol in your blood.

Second DUI

For a second DUI the DMV will suspend the license for one year.  The suspension can be significantly reduced, but the DMV must prove by a preponderance of the evidence, that (1) there was a reasonable suspicion that you were violating traffic laws, (2) you were placed under arrest lawfully, and (3) that you drove the vehicle with  .08 percent alcohol in your blood.


The suspension is longer for each additional DUI.

Ignition Interlock Device

Everyone that is convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) will be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device.  This is a breathylizer machine that is installed in your car.  In order to start the vehicle a breath sample must be provided.  The vehicle will not start if the machine detects alcohol on your breath.  There are ways to keep this device out of your vehicle.

The Refusal

Under Vehicle Code 23612, all drivers are required to give a breath or blood sample when an officer suspects they are driving under the influence.  The officers are required to inform you of this law and of the consequences for refusing to provide a breath or blood test.  Many people suddenly stopped on the roadside and placed in the stressful position of being interrogated by police do not agree to provide a breath test or blood test.  This will result in being charged with a "refusal" and the license suspension is much more severe.  It is necessary to fight this charge as there is no way to shorten the suspension.