The Law Office of James Gandy 

Tel: (714) 202-2568
Fax: (714) 202-2569
500 State College Blvd, Suite#1100
Orange, California, 92868


DMV Penalties 21+

In addition to criminal penalties, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) also has penalties for driving while under the influence (DUI).

According to the DMV's website (, “[t]he DMV suspension or revocation is an immediate administrative action taken against your driving privilege. This is called Administrative Per Se (APS). Any sanctions imposed by DMV under APS are independent of any court-imposed jail sentence, fine, or other criminal penalty imposed when a person is convicted for [DUI].”

I, or another attorney, could potentially assist you in dealing with the DMV but, since driving is a privilege and not a right, your license will probably be suspended/revoked for some period of time.

If you are 21 years or older, the following suspension/revocation applies to you:

After being arrested for DUI, the arresting officer forwards a copy of the completed notice of suspension or revocation form and any driver license taken into possession, with a sworn report to the DMV.

The DMV automatically conducts an administrative review of this paperwork that will almost certainly result in the suspension or revocation of your license.

You have the right to request a hearing from the DMV within 10 days of receipt of the suspension or revocation order that is usually handed to you when you are arrested.

Though you will almost certainly lose this hearing, if you are interested in potentially fighting the case against you, it is probably in your best interest to request such a hearing.

It would be in your best interest to have an attorney help you with this hearing.

If you do not request a hearing, you may ONLY drive for 30 days from the date the order of suspension or revocation was issued.  (This, of course, assumes that you have been issued a California driver license and your driver license is not expired, or your driving privilege is not suspended or revoked for some other reason.)

Restricted License

A request for a restricted license cannot be considered at the DMV hearing.

You may apply for a restricted license to drive to and from work at any DMV field office.

This license will permit you to drive to and from work.

The DMV handles the issuance of such a license and there is little that an attorney can do to help (other than explain how this process works).


Length of Suspension/Revocation

If you took a blood or breath test, or (if applicable) a urine test*, and the results showed 0.08% BAC or more:

  • A first offense will result in a 4-month suspension.
  • A second or subsequent offense within 10 years will result in a 1-year suspension.

Your driver license will be returned to you at the end of the suspension or revocation, provided you pay a $125 reissue fee to the DMV and you file proof of financial responsibility.

You are required by law to submit to a chemical test to determine the alcohol and/or drug content of your blood.

This does not include the field test administered at the scene; if you are 21 years or older, you can refuse the field test without a penalty but, if you fail to take a chemical test, you will suffer additional loss of your license.

Failure to take a chemical test will lead to stiffer suspension or revocation:

  • A first offense will result in a 1-year suspension.
  • A second offense within 10 years will result in a 2-year revocation.
  • A third or subsequent offense within 10 years will result in a 3-year revocation.

It is also possible that your license will not be returned to you upon the end of the revocation or suspension.