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I have a 2nd DUI with the DMV in California, but only a 1st time conviction through the courts. Can I get a restricted license?

San Diego, CA |

I have a unique case of DUI in San Diego, CA. When I was 17 I was pulled over and blew a .06. The officer sent the ticket to the wrong court (adult court) and it was dismissed in court but I still lost my license with the DMV. I am now 24 and got a DUI (.22) that processed through both the DMV AND court this time. The DMV notified my that my license is suspended for a year. I did not go to the hearing. Can I get a restricted license WITHOUT the IID being installed in my car?

Attorney Answers 7


  1. Eventually, but you will want the IID and the license back as soon as possible.

    Of course, every DUI case is different and you should consult an experienced DUI defense attorney in your area with questions regarding your specific case. It is always in your best interest to have a good DUI attorney represent you when you have been arrested for a DUI.


  2. You may not be eligible for a restricted license at all on a second DMV suspension for DUI. The reason is that DMV does not want to issue restricted licenses to 2nd DUI offenders unless there is ALSO a second court conviction for DUI. If you were convicted in court of a 2nd DUI "involving alcohol only" or a wet reckless "involving alcohol only," then DMV would allow you to apply for a restricted license after just 90 days.

    Debra S. White
    Law Offices of Debra S. White
    Los Angeles DUI Lawyer
    (818) 609-1800

    This answer is based on California law and procedure and does not create an attorney-client relationship.


  3. The answer is "it depends." I actually just did a blog about getting a restricted with similar circumstances (link below). If you plead guilty on DUI, DMV will treat it as a second offense, and you can get a restricted either after 1) one year (with no IID), or 2) wait 90 days and stick the IID in your car (although according to DMV Mandatory Actions Unit, they would not allow this, and you may need to file an appeal/writ). Clear as mud.. Other hoops to jump through (SR-22, enroll into the 18-month class).

    There is also the enhancement for being over a .20 which we can chat about and how to approach it.

    Here's the link to my blog entry on this: http://gandgtriallawyers.com/DUIDefense/general/can-you-get-a-restricted-license-after-a-dmv-probation-violation-hearing/

    Disclaimer: This was not legal advice, and in no way formed an attorney-client relationship.


  4. Unfortunately, the DMV is the one that controls your license, not the court. With the prior incident, they are looking at this as a second action against your license - even if you were successful in your court case - so you're looking at the one year suspension. The only way to get it back sooner (90 days) is with the installation of the ignition interlock device.

    The above answer is for general information only and is based on the information you posted. Every case is fact dependent, so to get a thorough analysis of your situation, you will need to consult face to face with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the incident took place. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case.


  5. Ironically enough, you may find yourself in a worse position (with DMV at least) since you only have one court conviction and 2 DUIs as far as DMV concerned. Cannot hurt to inquire with DMV for a restricted license after 90 days and the IID, and possibly writ the administrative decision if you lose. If you do not want an IID, then you will have to wait a year.

    Law Offices of David Shapiro 3555 4th Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 295-3555


  6. Call the Mandatory Actions Office of the DMV in Sacramento, they should be able to clarify for you.


  7. Even though you only have one court conviction, the DMV will count your prior suspension as a first offense, making the new DUI your second offense. You should be able to obtain a restricted license that allows you to drive at ANY time for ANY purpose as long as you have the IID on your vehicle, an Sr22 and you are attending your DUI classes. After a 90 day "hard" suspension you should be able to get the IID restricted license. But there are some issues with the DMV sometimes denying restricted licenses after 90 days to a second offender who only has one court conviction on his or her record, since technically you are supposed to have either 2 court convictions or a wet reckless conviction and court conviction before you are eligible for the 2nd offender IID restricted license. If you have any problem getting the restricted license with an IID after 90 days, you should contact an attorney or call mandatory actions in sacremento and complain. Sorry it is not an absolutely clear answer because the DMV sometimes decides what THEY believe the law is!

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