DUI Drivers License Suspensions in San Diego
An Administrative License Suspension (ALS), also known as an Administrative Per Se Suspension (APS), is the formal Notice of Suspension you were issued after you were arrested for drunk driving in San Diego and the arresting officer took your California driver's license. This pink document also serves as a 30-day temporary driving permit.
The circumstances of the arrest determine the period of time your license will be suspended. At the time of the arrest, the option of testing your breath or blood should have been given to you. If you refused to take such a chemical test, the length of the ALS will be longer than if you submitted to them. In any case, your California driver's license is immediately suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles (subject to the 30-day temporary privilege) and you are issued the ALS and a Notice to Appear in court.
A first DUI offense in ten (10) years will result in either a four (4) month suspension or, if you refused to take a chemical test, a one (1) year suspension. Only if you submitted to testing it is possible to reduce the time of suspension to one (1) month and a subsequent five (5) months of work restriction. This can be done by filing an SR-22 form (proof of insurance) with the DMV, and proof that you are enrolled in a state-approved DUI school (PDF Download). A second offense within ten (10) years will result in your California driver's license being suspended for one (1) year if you submitted to alcohol testing and two (2) years if you refused.
Even if you had a driver's license from another state, you will still be issued a Notice of Suspension. However, because it is not the property of the State of California, the police officer cannot seize your license. Your driving privileges will be suspended only in California, but it is likely that your license will eventually be suspended by your state upon notification by the California DMV of the arrest/suspension.
Legally, you have the right to dispute any administrative suspension, but a request for a DMV hearing must occur within ten (10) days of the arrest or you forfeit this right and your license will automatically be suspended when your temporary license expires. When you or your San Diego drunk driving attorney contact the DMV's Driver Safety Office (DSO) to schedule a DMV hearing on the ALS suspension, it is important to document the date, time, and name of the clerk with whom you spoke. Scheduling a hearing can be done by in person at the San Diego Driver Safety Office located at 9174 Sky Park Court, Suite 200, San Diego, California or by phone at (858) 627-3901. Though you can go through this process on your own, being represented by a San Diego DUI attorney is strongly advised.
Finally, it is important to remember that an ALS hearing is entirely different than DUI criminal proceedings. The outcome of one will usually not affect the outcome of the other. For example, if your suspension is
set aside, it will have no affect on the criminal proceedings; likewise, even if charges are dismissed, that will have no affect on the ALS hearing. The only way the California DMV will set aside a suspension is if you are acquitted of having a BAC of .08% or higher.