If you are arrested for driving under the influence in San Diego County, your license is usually taken by law enforcement and you are given a temporary driver's license. The temporary license allows you to continue to drive with the same restrictions, classifications, and endorsements that your original California driver's license had. Make sure you sign the document and carry it with you when you drive. The temporary license is valid for thirty days after the DUI arrest.
After the thirty days, your license is automatically suspended unless you contact the Department of Motor Vehicles, DMV, Driver Safety Office within 10 days from the date of arrest to schedule an administrative per se hearing. This hearing with be telephonic unless an in-person hearing is requested. By requesting this hearing, the DMV will put a stay on the suspension of your license until a decision has been made on your matter, unless you request otherwise. A stay means you will be able to continue to drive and often a second temporary license with an extended date will be mailed to the driver.
After the administrative per se hearing, the DMV will mail the Notification of Findings and Decision with the decision to either end the stay on the license suspension, thus beginning the suspension period*, or set aside the suspension, thus giving back the driver's license.
If the DMV's findings end the stay, the driver has 15 days from the effective date of the notice to request a Departmental Review of the findings. This request must be in writing, addressed to the Driver Safety Office where the hearing was conducted, and received and date stamped by the DMV by the statutory date. In addition, the request must include a fee of $120. No stay on the suspension will be issued pending review; therefore, the license is suspended as of the date noted in the notification.
Often these reviews end with a confirmation of the hearing officer's decision. However, the matter may be sent back to the hearing officer to clean up any issues, still resulting in a license suspension. In a few instances, the DMV review board will find that the hearing officer acted outside his or her authority and set aside the suspension, returning the license to the driver.
If the DMV confirms the hearing officer's findings and decision after the Departmental Review, the licensee may appeal that decision by filing a Writ of Mandamus with the courts. Under California Vehicle Code Section 14401, the driver has 90 days from the date the order was noticed to bring an action in the court to review the administrative agency's decision.
This code section specifically requires all administrative appeals be final before filing a petition in the courts; however, since the license suspension is not stayed pending the Departmental Review, the driver may consider filing a writ without the review or simultaneously with the review.
*The suspension time is determined by factors including how many prior DUI's the driver has, if a chemical test was refused, and the age of the driver.
The above summary of the DMV's Departmental Review and writ procedures are by no means all-inclusive and is not legal advice. Laws may have changed since our last update and this article may not apply to your case. For the latest information on this, or any other DUI matter, contact an exclusively DUI defense attorney to find out more information on your individual case.
If you have received an Administrative Per Se Suspension/Revocation Order and Temporary License for drunk driving in San Diego County, you need to hire The Law Offices of Susan L. Hartman, to aggressively defend your case. Contact us now for a free consultation to discuss your rights, defenses, and the best strategy on how to handle your matter. Call 619-260-1122 or use the "Contact Us" form on this page.