DUI and Your Drivers License

The DMV License Suspension Hearing Process

After a DUI arrest, the arresting officer will take your driver’s license and issue you an order of suspension and a temporary driver’s license (Form DS367-pink in color).

The officer will send all the paperwork from your arrest to the Department of Motor Vehicles, triggering an administrative process that is completely separate from the criminal case. In this process, in a case involving a driver age 21 or over who is arrested for DUI, the DMV will suspend your driving privilege if it finds that:

  1. A police officer had reasonable cause to believe you were violating Vehicle Code section 23152 or 23153 (the drunk driving law);
  2. You were lawfully arrested;
  3. You were driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more.

That temporary license (pink form) the officer gave you says that you have ten days to contact the DMV and request a hearing regarding your license suspension. If you do not request a hearing within the ten day period, you should expect that the DMV will suspend your license 30 days after the date of the arrest. If your case does not involve a refusal to take a chemical test, and DMV later finds out that the BAC was below .08, they should issue a set aside so that you can get your CDL back.

If you make a timely request for an APS hearing on the isuue of your license suspension you will be dealing with a Hearing Officer appointed by DMV. The hearing officer is not a judge or a lawyer. He or she is an employee of the DMV. The hearing officer’s job is to decide whether to
uphold the suspension of your license. Unlike in the criminal court process, the DMV hearing officer performs the role of prosecutor and judge. The hearing officer will present the DMV’s case, question witnesses, and cross-examine the DUI client and his or her witnesses. The hearing officer also makes rulings on the admissibility of evidence and objections.

DMV hearings are unlike the regular court process. They have very specific rules and procedures and the process can be very confusing to the average person. This hearing is not a forum for you to try to convince a hearing officer that you need to drive. This is why it is
important to contact Attorney White immediately after your arrest for DUI so that he can represent you at your DMV hearing.