In our experience, there is almost always a sense of total surrender in second, third and even fourth-time DUI’s. From the beginning of the case, the client feels hopeless, vulnerable and at the mercy of the police, prosecution and the DMV.
Of the roughly 200,000 DUI arrests every year in California, approximately one fourth are for second, third and fourth time DUI’s. Many of these drivers are so resigned to what they expect to be an inevitable conviction that they do not hire an attorney and do not stand up for their rights.
What makes this so sad to us is that the Department of Motor Vehicles seems to regularly suspend the driver’s license of such drivers and then, when the client asks about when they may be eligible for a restricted license, the DMV usually is unaware of some recent changes in the law.
One of those changes is Senate Bill 598 (SB 598), which amended Vehicle Code §§ 13352, 13352.5, 23109, 23550, 23550.5, 23552, 23566 and 23568 relating to vehicles The most important change, at least insofar as this article will address, is giving multiple offenders the opportunity to receive a restricted license after a shorter amount of time regardless of the DMV hearing admin per se suspension.
With SB 598, Senator Bob Huff, the bill’s author, our legislature hoped to return multiple DUI offenders to the workforce earlier by allowing them the ability to drive to and from work (to provide for his or her family) and alcohol awareness courses. It is a pilot program operating statewide, but it is set to either expire or be renewed on January 1, 2016, depending on its effects. A study on its effects is due published on July 1, 2015.
With SB 598, a second time offender may apply for a restricted license after 90 days of actual suspension. Under a prior version of the law, the person would have to wait twelve months before applying for a restricted license. If one did not apply for such a restricted license, the suspension would remain in effect for two years.
If one is granted a restricted license, one must install an ignition interlock device (IID) for twelve months. This can be expensive. Not only are there installation charges, but one must pay to have the IID recalibrated and checked for maintenance every 60 days.
If one is a third-time offender, one may apply for a restricted license after six months of actual suspension. The person must then operate the vehicle with an IID for two years. If one did not apply for such a restricted license, the person’s driving privileges would be revoked for three years.
If one is a fourth-time offender, one may apply for a restricted license after one year of actual suspension. The person must then operate the vehicle with an IID for three years. If one did not apply for such a restricted license, the person’s license would be revoked for four years.
To qualify for a restricted license, one must show:
- Either proof of enrollment or partial completion of an 18 month or 30 month certified DUI program;
- Proof of financial responsibility (i.e. having your insurance agent submit an SR-22 electronically to the Department of Motor Vehicles’ website prior to your appointment for a restricted license);
- Installation of and maintenance of an IID (you must certify on form DL924 to the DMV that an IID has been installed in all vehicles you have access to); and
- Payment of a $120 license reissue fee, plus any other outstanding fees or fines owed to the DMV.
It merits mention that anyone found to have refused a breath or blood test is subject to a two year license revocation with no opportunity to apply for a restricted license.
Parenthetically, one is exempt from the IID requirement if, within 30 days of the notice of suspension by the DMV, the person certifies on form DL4055B no ownership of a vehicle, no access to a vehicle at his or her residence and acknowledgement to meet the IID requirements if the situation changes.
Lastly, it merits mention that there are sliding scale IID fees if one qualifies. To see if one qualifies, one can inquire of the IID manufacturer and its installer agent(s).
For more information about the driver’s license consequences of a DUI, click on the following articles:
- Second-Time DUI Offender Must Be Granted Restricted License After 90 Days of Actual Suspension.
- What Punishment Do I Face for a Second DUI?
- What is a Critical Needs Restricted License?
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