In California, drunk driving could result in an officer suspending your driver’s license immediately upon arrest. This is due to the Admin Per Se Law adopted by the California State Legislature in 1990. This law allows a law enforcement officer to suspend your driver’s license if the officer believes your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds .08 percent. This means that, contrary to the norm, you are considered guilty until proven innocent. Thus, your license is immediately suspended until your innocence is later proven. To prove your innocence, your case will go to a DMV admin per se hearing (APS hearing). Our experienced Alameda County DUI lawyer discusses Admin Per Se Law and what it means for California drivers in the following article.
How Does Admin Per Se Affect California Drivers?
In an Admin Per Se suspension, an officer will confiscate your driver’s license and send it to the DMV. You will then receive a temporary driver’s license that is valid for 30 days. At this point, you will want to schedule a DMV admin per se hearing within 10 calendar days of your suspension. You must schedule this hearing with the Driver Safety Office (DSO) closest to your home. Failing to do so translates to an automatic suspension of your driving privileges without a hearing.
While scheduling your hearing, you should also request a “Stay of Suspension.” Because the DMV is often overworked, your hearing may not occur until after your temporary license expires. However, a “Stay of Suspension” will extend your temporary license until after your APS hearing.
What Happens During a DMV Admin Per Se Hearing?
The DMV will conduct a hearing to determine whether they will reinstate your driving privileges or penalize you. To do this, the DMV will consider three main elements of your case:
- Whether the arresting officer had reason to believe you were in violation of the Vehicle Code
- Whether you were lawfully detained or arrested
- Whether you were driving while at or above the .08 percent BAC legal limit
The DMV can automatically presume the accuracy and honesty of the evidence it presents. This means that it is quite easy to lose your driving privileges. The penalties in this situation can include:
- Prolonged suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
- Prohibition of a commercial driver to operate a commercial vehicle
- Mandatory attendance and completion of a DUI school
- Mandatory IID breath devices for your car
- Filing a “high-risk” SR-22 insurance form
Importantly, penalties imposed by the DMV are separate from penalties you may incur for a DUI conviction. For this reason, it is ideal to work with a trained attorney to fight your legal cases.
Questions About Your DMV Admin Per Se Hearing? Contact an Alameda County DUI Lawyer to Learn More
If you are facing APS and DUI charges, then contact the Law Office of Louis J. Goodman today. We have more than 30 years of experience litigating a wide range of criminal justice cases. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or by phone at (510) 582-9090.