DUI DWI Attorney Orange CountyDUI (Driving Under the Influence) are driving violations with two separate parts; one part is administrative and the other is criminal. The administrative component of a DWI or DUI falls under the domain of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). It begins when a law enforcement officer asks a driver to give breath, blood, or urine for chemical testing. Although drivers are allowed to refuse chemical testing, refusal results in an automatic suspension of driving licensure in most states. Drivers who refuse chemical testing lose their driving licenses because Motor Vehicle Departments stipulate implied consent as a condition of licensure. By acquiring a license, drivers voluntarily agree, or implicitly consent, to chemical testing whenever a law enforcement officer suspects them of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Failure to comply with DMV mandated policies and procedures risks forfeiting the driving privileges granted by DMV licensure. Most states’ laws prohibit drivers who refused testing to apply for or be granted a conditional, restricted, hardship or other temporary license. Without a license, a driver is not entitled to drive until the suspension or revocation period expires.

Following a Free Consultation We will evaluate these possibilities:

  • Attempt to have your charges thrown out
  • Determine if the police officer had a “reasonable suspicion” to stop you
  • Determine if the officer had “probable cause” to arrest you
  • Suppress any statement you made in custody because you were not read your Miranda rights
  • Suppress any improperly obtained sample of your blood, breath or urine
  • Suppress any other illegally obtained tangible evidence that can be used against you in a court of law


The administrative license suspension program, known as “Admin Per Se” (APS) was signed into law as a stronger deterrent to drunk driving. The following information is a general guide for drivers age 21years and older who become subject to an APS driver license (DL) suspension or revocation. All APS cases are unique, and if this guide does not provide the specific information you are seeking, additional information is available on the DMV Website at www.dmv.ca.gov.


The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is required to suspend or revoke the driving privilege of any person arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or a combination of alcohol and drugs (DUI), who:

  • takes a chemical (blood or breath) test which shows a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of 0.01% while on DUI probation, 0.04% while driving a commercial vehicle, and/or a BAC of 0.08% or more, or
  • refuses to take or fails to complete a chemical (blood or breath)* to determine his/ her BAC level
*NOTE: A urine test is not available unless:
  • the officer suspects you were driving under the influence of drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol, or
  • both the blood and breath tests are unavailable, or
  • you are a hemophiliac, or
  • you are taking anticoagulant medication.

The officer will give you an Order of Suspension/ Revocation. If you have a valid California driver license, the officer will take your license and send it to DMV. The Order of Suspension/Revocation includes a temporary license for 30 days from the issue date (usually the date of your arrest). At the end of the 30 days, the suspension/ revocation action goes into effect. If the officer does not serve you with an Order of Suspension/ Revocation, DMV will mail one to you.

The temporary license does not allow you to drive if there is another DMV- or court-imposed DL action in effect.

The APS suspension or revocation is independent of any jail, fine, or other criminal penalty imposed in court if you were convicted of the DUI offense.


DMV automatically conducts an administrative review which may include an examination of the officer’s sworn report and any accompanying documents, such as an arrest or traffic collision report.

If the review shows there is no basis for the APS suspension/revocation, it will be set aside. DMV will notify you in writing only if the suspension/revocation is set aside.


You have 10 days from receipt of the Order of Suspension/Revocation to request a hearing to show that the APS suspension/revocation is not justified. DMV will conduct a telephone hearing unless you request an in-person hearing. The APS suspension/revocation will not be stayed (delayed) unless:

  • you request a hearing within 10 days from the issue date of the order,and
  • DMV cannot provide a hearing before the effective date of the suspension/ revocation.
Before the hearing, and upon request, you may see and/ or obtain copies of DMV’s evidence. If you want copies released to someone else, such as an attorney, you must give the person signed permission. You have the right to have a sign or language interpreter present at your hearing. Immediately notify DMV if you require an interpreter.

You may represent yourself or at your own expense, an attorney or another person may represent you at the hearing. You may present oral testimony and other evidence. Your testimony will be taken under oath or affirmation and the hearing will be recorded.

DMV ordinarily does not arrange to have the peace officer testify. However, DMV reserves the right to call the officer if his/her testimony is needed. You may subpoena the officer or any other witness(es) you feel may help your case and have relevant testimony or evidence to present. You are responsible for paying the required fees and for making sure your witness(es) receives the subpoena.

After the hearing decision, you may submit a written request for a Department Review within 15 days of the effective date of the notice. The fee for a department review is $120.

To reinstate your driving privilege after an APS suspension/revocation, you must:

  • pay a $125 reissue fee to DMV. (California Vehicle Code [CVC] §14905)
  • file proof of financial responsibility (i.e., a California Insurance Proof Certificate [SR 22], $35,000 cash deposit, surety bond, or self insurer certificate under CVC §16430).
  • maintain proof of financial responsibility for three years.

Hearing Issues:

Your need for a driver license is not an issue at the APS. Only the following issues will be discussed:

A.   If you took a chemical test:

  1. Did the peace officer have reasonable cause to believe you were driving a motor vehicle in violation of CVC §§23152, 23153, or 23154?
  2. Were you lawfully  detained while on DUI probation or lawfully arrested?
  3. Were you driving a motor vehicle when you had: 0.01% BAC or more by weight of alcohol while on DUI probation; 0.04% BAC or more by weight of alcohol while driving a commercial vehicle; or 0.08% BAC or more by weight of alcohol?

B.   If you refused or failed to complete a chemical test:

  1. Did the peace officer have reasonable cause to believe you were driving a motor vehicle in violation of CVC §§23152, 23153, or 23154?
  2. Were you lawfully detained while on DUI probation or lawfully arrested?
  3. Were you told that your driving privilege would be suspended or revoked for one, two or three years if you refused to submit to or failed to complete a chemical test?
  4. Did you refuse to submit to or fail to complete a chemical test, or PAS test ( DUI Probation) after being requested to do so by a peace officer?


A. If you took a chemical test, and the results showed a BAC of 0.04% while operating a commercial motor vehicle, or a BAC level of 0.08%or more, your driving privilege will be suspended for:

  • Four months—first offense.
  • One year—one or more separate offenses in ten years.
Court-ordered DUI probation prohibits a person previously convicted of DUI from operating a motor vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol in the driver’s blood (0.01% BAC).

If you took a PAS or chemical test, and the results showed a BAC level of 0.01% or more, and you were on a court-ordered probation for a prior DUI conviction of CVC §§23152 or 23153, in addition to the APS suspension, DMV will impose a concurrentone-year suspension based on violation of your DUI probation. You are not eligible for a restricted license during the one-year period.

B. If you refused or failed to complete a PAS or other chemical test, and you were on a court-ordered probation for a DUI conviction of CVC §23152 or 23153, your driving privilege will be:

  • First offense—a one-year suspension, or a two-year revocation if on DUI probation.
  • Second Offense—within 10 years of a separate violation of driving under the influence, will result in a 2-year revocation,or a 3-year revocation while on DUI probation.
  • Three Or More Offenses—within 10 years of any combination of the above violations, convictions or separate administrative determinations will result in a 3-year revocation

You may be eligible for a noncommercial restricted driver license if:

  • this is your first offense,** and
  • you completed a chemical test, and
  • the results showed a BAC level of 0.04% while operating a commercial vehicle, or 0.08% or more, and
  • you were 21 years of age or older (VC §13353.7), and
  • your driving privilege is not suspended or revoked for some other reason.

** FIRST OFFENSE. You must not have had another offense within ten years of a separate DUI violation, including a charge reduced to reckless driving, vehicular manslaughter, or violation of CVC §23140, which resulted in a conviction or separate administrative determination that you were driving with a BAC of 0.01% or more while on DUI Probation OR a BAC of 0.08% or more, OR a BAC of 0.04% or more in a commercial vehicle at any age, or you refused a test.

NOTE: Holders of a commercial driver license must down-grade to a class C non-commercial driver license. You may then request the applicable restriction noted below which shall remain in effect for five months.  If you were cited in a:

  • noncommercial vehicle, you may be eligible for a restriction to drive to/from a DUI treatment program, and to/from/during course of employment only.
  • commercial vehicle, you may be eligible for a restriction to drive to/from a DUI treatment program only.

To be issued a noncommercial restricted driver license, you must:

  • enroll in a licensed driving under the influence (DUI) First Offender program. (You must notify the program provider that you intend to apply for a restricted driver license.)
  • ask the program provider to file a Proof of Enrollment Certificate (DL 107) in a licensed DUI First Offender Program with DMV. (CVC §23538[b])
  • file proof of financial responsibility (i.e., a California Insurance Proof Certificate [SR 22], $35,000 cash deposit, surety bond, or self insurer certificate under CVC §16430).
  • pay a $125 reissue fee.
  • wait until the end of the mandatory 30-day suspension period before applying for a restricted DL.
  • request a To/From/During Course of Employment and DUI Program Restriction. Your driving privilege will be restricted to allow you to drive to, from, and during the course of your employment and to and from the DUI program. This restriction is valid for five months.
NOTE: If you enroll and fail to participate or do not complete the DUI program, DMV will suspend your driving privilege for up to four months.