If you lost your prior DMV hearing, the DMV will consider this a second.
You can get a restricted license. It's called a critical need to drive license. You should contact an attorney who can help you get the license because they are tough to get. The DMV has a form on its website. It's two pages. You have your dean or principle sign it. They are hard to get. If all you do is fill out the form and send it in without supporting documentation like declarations, you chances are slim. You have to make sure you attach documentary evidence to support your request for the license including why public transportation isn't available to you. The class ordered by the court is a term of your probation and has nothing to do with the DMV. The class the DMV makes you complete is what you will need to do if you eventually want to get your license reinstated. If you never take the 18 month class you won't be able to get your license back.
After reviewing the question again I must make a correction. You are not illegible for a critical need to drive license or restricted license because you are over 21 years old now. I assumed you were still under 21. Ignore my above answer.
However, depending if the DMV applies the new law retroactively. You may be eligible due to a change in the law which takes effect in July of 2010.
Earlier Restricted Licenses for Repeat DUI Offenders - 2010
The new law offers shortened license suspension and revocation periods for certain repeat DUI offenders who meet specific criteria.
For example, a person convicted of their second drunk driving offense in California, within 10 years of the first one, may become eligible to apply for a restricted driving license after completing the first 90 days of a two year license suspension period. Under the prior version of the law, the individual would have to wait for 12 months before applying for the restricted license.
To qualify for the restricted California driver license, drivers must provide:
-Either proof of enrollment or partial completion of a 18 or 30 month certified DUI program
-Proof of financial responsibility (i.e. proof of SR 22 insurance)
-Installation and maintenance of an ignition interlock device
-Payment for any applicable fees, including reinstatement, reissue and restriction fees
The amount of time individuals must wait before becoming eligible to apply for the restricted license and the criteria for obtaining the license vary based on the type of DUI offense, the number of previous convictions and whether the offense included alcohol, drugs or a combination of both.
The facts of the case are not entirely clear from your question. What I can tell you is that, if you were ordered to do the 9 month program, on a .20 BAC, it sounds like you are facing a 10-month suspension even if it is a first offense, with no restricted license ability. If this is a second offense, you are facing a 2-year suspension, with no restriction eligibility for the 1 year, and only then with an ignition interlock device, enrollment in the alcohol program, and an SR-22 from your insurance company. Yes, DMV can treat this an offense as a second and order an 18-month program, even if the court treated it as a first offense, if the facts warrant.
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