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DUI Hearings in California

Get Affordable Coverage After a DUI

What is a DMV DUI Hearing in California?

When you get arrested for DUI, the law enforcement officer will confiscate your physical driver’s license and provide you with a temporary paper one (pink). After you get out of jail, you have 10 days from the date you were arrested to request a DUI hearing with the DMV. This hearing is to determine whether or not your license will be suspended.

This DUI hearing is not your court case to deal with the criminal charges of DUI. It is an administrative action only to deal with the immediate suspension of your license.

If you do not request a DUI hearing within 10 days of your arrest, the state will suspend your license for 30 days.

If you do request a hearing, the court will review several circumstances surrounding your arrest for DUI. You will need to prove that you have valid car insurance in California. At Cost-U-Less Insurance, we can help you with that, as well as giving you some idea of what to expect next.

What to Expect at a California DUI Hearing

At the DUI Hearing, the court will review the circumstances surrounding your arrest for DUI. The law enforcement officer’s report on the incident, as well as the results of any sobriety tests you took will be reviewed to ensure that your rights were met and the officer had a reasonable belief that you were operating a vehicle under the influence of a substance that negatively affected your ability to safely operate the vehicle. Some of the things that will be reviewed include:

  • Did the officer have a reasonable cause to believe you were operating a vehicle in an unsafe manner possibly due to driving under the influence? (For example, did he observe your vehicle weaving, or did you fail to signal a turn or did you fail to come to a complete stop at a stop sign? Any infraction of driving rules can lead to a stop).
  • Did the officer lawfully arrest you? (For example, did he read you your Miranda Rights? Did he have probable cause?)
  • Were you driving with a BAC of 0.08% or more?

Refusing to Take a BAC Test

If you refuse to take a BAC test (breath, blood or urine), your license will be suspended automatically for one year. However, the hearing will examine whether the officer followed specific procedures regarding your rights, including:

  • Were you placed under lawful arrest?
  • Were you told that if you refused to take a BAC test, your driving privilege could be suspended for one year or revoked for two or three years?
  • Did you refuse to take or complete a BAC test?
Witness in the stand testifying.

What Happens After the DMV DUI Hearing?

You will receive a notice in the mail letting you know the results of the hearing. This can take anywhere from a few days to more than a month. Your results will be one of the following:

  • Your driving privileges will be restored
  • Your license will be suspended
  • Your license will be revoked

If your license if suspended or revoked, you can challenge that in court. The instructions on how to challenge the decision will arrive with the notice of results. It typically costs money to challenge and there is a time limit.

Remember, if you refuse to take or complete a BAC test, your license will automatically be suspended for one year. In many cases, drivers who consent to installing an Ignition Interlock Device may continue to drive while their case winds its way through the court system.

Driving Privileges Restored

This doesn’t happen often, but if there are some questionable circumstances surrounding your DUI arrest, the DMV may choose to restore your driving privileges.

License Suspended

If the DMV is satisfied your arrest was lawful and you took a BAC test that showed a result of 0.08% or more, your license will be temporarily suspended for four months. A suspension is a temporary measure with a time frame.

License Revocation

A license revocation is a serious matter and means your driving privileges have been terminated. You can take steps at some point to reapply for a new license, in most cases.

Glossary of Insurance Definitions

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What is an Interlock Ignition Device?

It is a device that measures your BAC level before you can drive your vehicle. Most IID units will prevent your vehicle from starting if you have a BAC higher than a pre-set level. An IID must be installed and regularly serviced by an authorized dealer in California. This is something you will be required to pay for out of pocket.

Keep in mind that if you tamper with your IID or try to fake it out by having a friend blow in it and you are caught, there will be serious consequences, including a fine of up to $5,000 and 6 months in jail.

Is Installing an Ignition Interlock Device Mandatory?

For a first-time DUI, it is typically not mandatory, although in the counties of Los Angeles, Sacramento, Alameda and Tulare, an IID is required for a first-time DUI for five months. Subsequent DUIs in all California counties may see a requirement for an IID, as well as if you blew higher than .15% BAC. Expect to see all California counties requiring an IID for even first-time DUI offenders soon.

We Can Help You Get Back on the Road with Cheap DUI Insurance

If you need to find affordable insurance before, during and after the process following a DUI arrest in California, Cost-U-Less Insurance agents can help. We have experience working with drivers who have been arrested and convicted of DUI. Visit us for more information, give us a call at 800-390-4071 or stop by one of our convenient locations.