When a person has been stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence, they have not yet been convicted under the California Vehicle Code. A person who has been charged with a violation of the relevant code sections, must face two different case. One is before a criminal judge in criminal court, and one is before a hearing officer at the DMV.
The case before the criminal judge will determine whether the person will be prosecuted and a potential sentence may include jail time, fines, community service, and a alcohol rehabilitation program as well as probation. The case before the DMV is more informal and administrative in nature. It does not involve a prosecutor or a Judge. The ultimate decision maker is a “Hearing Officer" who will review the facts, take testimony from the driver as well as the officer if necessary and issue a ruling. The potential consequences at a DMV hearing are limited to the issue of driving privileges. The hearing officer will make a determination based on the facts and determine the duration and extent of suspension of an individual’s driving privileges.
In the event of a first time DUI suspension a driver will be eligible for a restricted license after 30 days so long as certain requirements are met. First and foremost, a driver must serve a 30 day hard suspension.
Second, you must be enrolled in a DUI first offender program. The program that you choose to enroll with must be notified that you intend to apply for a restricted license. The program must file a Proof of Enrollment Certificate, also known as a DL-107. The program in which you decide to enroll, and provides you with a proof of enrollment certificate, must be a licensed DUI First Offender program with the DMV. If the program is not licensed with the DMV, your enrollment and attendance may not qualify you for a restricted license.
Finally, you must also file a proof of financial responsibility, also known as the SR-22. The SR-22 is a California Insurance Proof Certificate. There will also be a fee that must be paid for reissue. The fee is generally around $125.00 but may differ in different counties.
The type of restriction that should be requested is a “to/from/during course of employment and DUI program" restriction. This allows you to drive yourself to work and your alcohol rehabilitation classes and programs. Any such restricted license will be valid for five months.
An Orange County DUI Lawyer will be able to guide you through the steps of obtaining a restricted license once you have determined to be eligible.