I get many questions about people getting a California Restricted License (CA Restricted License). For a first time California DUI your license will be suspended for 30 days after your arrest. There are a few exceptions.
People who lose have their license suspension due to a DUI will need a supplemental form of insurance for the purpose of getting a restricted license.
There are several paths you can go. This page will go over the steps needed for a driver license on a first DUI.
California Restricted License are not hard to get, but they are time consuming. This is assuming you did not do the DMV admin hearing. Sometimes people do this and still lose the DMV hearing. When this happens, a person must serve the 30 days hard suspension before he or she can get a California Restricted License to and from work.
There are some pros and cons to this method. The pros are that a person will be able to drive to and from work and to alcohol classes with the California Restricted License. The cons are that a person will have to register with an alcohol school and get an SR-22. There are many providers for SR-22 out there. As a DUI Attorney, in regards to a California Restricted License, it is advisable to go to one who knows what they are doing. The good ones regularly deal with people who have DUI and they are able to get really good rates for people. The other con for this is that a person has to register for the AB 541 class.
In a first time California DUI conviction for the purpose of a California Restricted License, a person must register for AB 541 class which is a 3 month class, unless there is excessive alcohol and other circumstances which justify a longer class. There is one more con to this. The DMV will only count the one month as a suspension. They will not count the 5 months of restricted license. This is something to seriously consider when dealing with your case. I often see people who have their DMV resolved quickly but they had to wait for the court because the court was slow. As a result of this, they have to continue doing their suspension over again.
Obtaining a California Restricted License is affected by many factors. Also, applying for a restricted license is not required, this is optional. For the first DUI offense, if you choose not to go to DMV hearing or lose a hearing, your driver’s license will be suspended for 120 days.
However, after the 30 days of suspension, you can apply for a California Restricted License. A California Restricted License allows you to drive from home to work, DUI program, or school and vice versa. In order to get a California Restricted License, you need to provide the following.
1. Proof of insurance or SR22
2. Proof of enrollment in DUI program
3. Go to DMV and apply for a restricted license, which costs $125
You’ll need to file an SR-22 insurance, enroll the first conviction program, and go to DMV to apply for a restricted driver’s license. If your DUI is in LA then you may need to install IID and with this, you can drive anywhere you want to. For installing IID, there are many factors to consider, please discuss this with a lawyer. However, if you have a a CA commercial driver’s license then it is a more difficult scenario. You cannot apply for a restricted license with the commercial driver’s license. Furthermore, if you had prior convictions or refused to complete a blood test, urine, or breath test, you do not qualify for a restricted driver’s license. In addition, if you were under age of 21 at the time of offense, then you may not apply for a California Restricted License, unless you need the license for a critical reason. If you got Your DUI in LA or any of the counties that have a pilot a program then you then you have to get an IID.
Ignition Interlocking Device (IID) is a system that can be installed in your car in LA when you want a California Restricted License. Ignition Interlocking Device acts as mini breathalyzer that’s installed on the drivers side in the steering column. If the judge told you to get an IID then it must be professionally installed in every vehicle you own or drive.
How the device works is that to start the car, you must not have any alcohol in your system. After you star the car, the system will periodically ask you for breath test samples. The first time will be after 15 minutes after you start driving, then ever 45 minutes after. You have a period of 6 minutes to deliver a sample. If you fail to do so, or you did not pass, the car will not stop. However the system will register it as a fail in the log that will be sent yo the court. The system cannot distinguish from different types of alcohols. If you used mouthwash then it will read it as alcohol. However you can re-test and try to fix it since alcohol like those disappears quickly.
The Ignition Interlocking Device takes records of tampering, engine start ups and stops, and breath test logs. You may be subject to installing one of these devices in your car if you were involved with your first DUI situation or if you refused to give a breath or blood test. First time DUI offenses can make you keep the IID for 5 months. If there were any injuries then you may have to keep it for a year. Installation of ignition interlocking device can range from around $75 to $100, but some people will say it’s worth it because it gets them the California Restricted License. Maintenance and calibration may also be needed for the IID. If you are not able to afford it then you may only need to pay a portion of it.
A Hard Suspension for the purpose of a California Restricted License is not driving anywhere for 30 days. This means no driving to school or work. If you are caught driving anywhere during this time, then you will be violating the terms of your California License Suspension. This violation will subject you to lose your California Restricted License Violation and also this will set you up for new charges of driving on a suspended license if you are caught driving. For example, your California Restricted License Violation says you will only be able to drive to DUI school and back and from work, however you decide to go to court instead and think it is okay.
When you are at court, an officer observes that you are not allowed to be at court and follows you out. If he stops you, then you will be subjected to a charge of driving outside of your license. A California Restricted License Violation is serious.Many people will mistaken this as to and from any school or errands. However this is far from the truth. The only school you are allowed to go is the DUI school. The most common way people get in trouble and get a California Restricted License Violation is when they are going to regular school. IE College. They misunderstand the therm school and tell the police officer that they are you going to OCC or Cypress.
DUI school means DUI school and not college. However this does not mean that you can’t be creative with your restrictive license. I Many students who have taken jobs on campus. If you have a job on campus at work then you are technically at work while you are going to school and you are in compliance with the terms of your restricted license. Thus if you are pulled over when leaving campus at night then you can avoid a California Restricted License Violation by saying that you are coming back from work.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the enforcement and motivation by law enforcement to tag people for a Restricted License Violation are not as high as a DUI. An officer may choose not to pursue an investigation if it appears you are on your way to or from work. This is why lots of officers will ask where you are going immediately after pulling you over. However, the chances of a California Restricted License Violation is much higher if you are pulled over by the beach with a surfboard on your roof and a car full of friends. Some things are too hard to explain away.
It doesn’t happen very much, but it does happen. A person needs to be smart about a California Restricted License Violation and know where they are going. It’s important that you know what to say to a police officer when you get pulled over, especially when you have a restricted license.
“To the client, every angle is important, there’s a number of questions, and each person also have their own worries. Some will need a person to listen to them. At the end of the day, it’s more than just delivering legal results. I put a 110% into every person I work. I strive to make sure everyone knows what is going on and is kept in the loop as the case goes on. The practice of law is more than just getting the results in court.” -Hieu Vu