California Drivers License Suspension due to DUI

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if you are arrested for a dui, your license may be automatically suspended

Q: I've just been arrested for DUI. What happens now?

A: The officer is required by law to immediately forward a copy of the completed notice of suspension or revocation form and any driver license taken into possession, with a sworn report to the DMV. 

Q: What are my rights?

A: You have the right to request a hearing from the DMV within 10 days of receipt of the suspension or revocation order. A hearing is your opportunity to show that the suspension or revocation is not justified.

Q: For how long will my driving privilege be suspended if I took the chemical test?

A: If you are 21 years of age or older and the results showed 0.08% BAC or more, a first offense will result in a 4-month suspension. - If you are under 21 year of age, took a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test or other chemical test and results showed 0.01% BAC or more, your driving privilege will be suspended for 1 year.

Q: Can I get my California Driver's License Reinstated?



To get a restricted license following your first conviction for a DUI in California after January 1, 2019, you will need to do the following:

STEP 1: Enroll in a DUI Class;

         List of California DUI Classes by County:  https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/individuals/Pages/DUI.aspx 

STEP 2: Purchase SR22 Insurance from your insurance carrier for 3 years;

STEP 3: Choose option A or B:



4. Install an Ignition Interlock Device onto any car you own or drive;

         Intoxalock (844)   738-8657

         SmartStart (800)   831-3299

5. Go to the DMV, apply, and pay $125.00;

6. Drive for 6 months anywhere at any time;

7. Receive your full license back after six months.



4. Perform a 30 day NO DRIVE period (no driving for any reason); 

5. Go to the DMV, apply, and pay $125.00;

6. Drive for 11 more months only for work, school, or medical reasons;

7. Receive your full license back after twelve months.

Learn More

Your personal DUI attorney from Welch Law Firm will answer all of your DUI questions. Your attorney regularly practices in Sacramento, Placer, and Sutter counties, as well as in front of the DMV administrative court. With over 4,000 cases of experience, we know exactly how to get your license back! 

Does the dmv or the court handle my dui license suspension?

answer: both

The California DMV controls your administrative privilege to operate a motor vehicle (drive) in California. 

The California Superior Court has the power to order the DMV to take certain action or inaction regarding your ability to drive. Therefore, both control your ability to drive. 

If the DMV and the Court both impose suspensions, the harsher one will take effect and control. 

The DMV will seek to suspend your driver's license for 4 months.

The prosecutor will seek to suspend your driver's license for 6 months. 

Depending upon the timing, type of DUI, and enhancements, the suspension may vary. 

Factors which effect your driver's license suspension due to a DUI:

  1. There are different types of DUI's (alcohol vs. drug vs. combination) and each has different DMV and Court consequences. 
  2. There are also different "enhancements" which effect the consequences of your DUI in California, such as high blood alcohol (over .15%), excessive blood alcohol (20%), DUI while speeding (over 100 mph), DUI while having a child in the vehicle (under 14), and others. 
  3. One of the worst "enhancements" is that you refused to submit to a chemical test. When you refuse to submit to a chemical test, the DMV has the authority to suspend/revoke your driver's license FOR ONE YEAR.  This is because one of California's DUI laws is called the implied consent law.(See Vehicle Code section 23578  https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=VEH&sectionNum=23578.) "Implied consent" means that you are deemed to have given your consent to submit to a blood or breath test when you apply to receive a California driver's license.  Your willful refusal to take such a test subjects you to an automatic license suspension / revocation for one year.

get DUI driver's license back

get DUI driver's license back

What is a dmv administrative per se (aps) hearing?


the dmv will move to suspend your driver's license automatically after you are arrested for a dui.

In order to stop the automatic driver's license suspension, you must request a DMV administrative per se hearing within ten days of your DUI arrest. The CalDMV will initiate this process for any DUI arrest as long as you send them a written correspondence citing the correct law and factual details of your arrest. 

how do i request a dmv "aps" driver's license hearing?

You can only do this by calling the Driver's Safety Office of the DMV.  The phone number to the Sacramento Driver's Safety Office is (916) 227-2970. You must call to deal with the DUI suspension, you can NOT handle your DUI suspension by going to the DMV in person.  

Can I go to the dmv in person to get my license back?

No. You must call a special unit of the DMV to deal with the DUI suspension, you can NOT handle your DUI suspension by going to the DMV in person. This unit is called the "Driver's Safety Office". 

what if i miss the 10 day deadline?

If you fail to request a DMV APS hearing within the time period, your license suspension automatically goes into effect.   


30 days from (whichever occurs first) the date of your arrest, or the date you where first served with paperwork.   

Can you give me an example?

Example of a normal first time DUI driver's license suspension in California:

Mike was arrested in Sacramento County, California for a DUI on March 2, 2019. He blew a .14% into the breathalyzer machine. The CHP officer took Mike's driver's license and gave him a pink sheet of paper. The following dates are important:

03 / 02 / 2019 : Date Mike was arrested on;

       +10 calendar days (weekend and holidays count)           

03 / 12 / 2019: Last date to contact the DMV;

04 / 02 / 2019: Date Mike is no longer allowed to drive.