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My husband got a DUI last year and his year is almost up. But hasn't done any program due to financial reasons. What can we do?

San Francisco, CA |

He was seen by a Judge and they told him to do a 9 mo program but its was going to cost $2300 and that we had to pay upfront. My husband said he would figure it out on his own. Now the year is almost up and he has yet to enroll himself into any program. He got his CLASS B lic suspended and this is his first offense. He had to take a huge pay cut from work and has to work weekends to make up for the pay cut in order for us to survive. I'm looking for a program he can enroll into now but I'm afraid that the judge will not let him re-instate his lic. Is there anything we can do?

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Attorney answers 5


I need more information to really answer this accurately, but the DMV is ultimately responsible for re-instating your husband's license, not the court. If your husband's suspension is up/finished, he may be able to get his license reinstated by filing an SR-22 (proof of financial responsibilty) and paying a re-issue fee to the DMV. The court, however, is a separate issue. Did your husband have to present the court with proof of enrollment and/or completion of the class? If so, he may be in violation of his probation, which could mean there is an outstanding warrant for his arrest. If so, he will need to consult an attorney to assist. Even if there is not a warrant, and I hope there isn't, your husband will at least need to go back to court and plead with the judge for a re-referral to the DUI school.



We are going in tomorrow to see his public defender and try to get seen by the judge. There's no warrant for his arrest and he wasn't summoned by the court yet to show proof of enrollment. The last time he went to court was to turn in his proof of community service hours. They sentenced him to 100 hours. He wasn't given a completion date by the judge. We are hoping for either an extension or another means of getting things going and situated. We won't know anything else until we get seen by the judge.


He needs to enroll in the 9 month class or else the DMV will not grant him a restricted license let alone reissue a valid one. You can look for another approved program that accepts a payment plan. You also need to get an extension from court to avoid a probation violation.

Mr. Driessen is a former Deputy DA in Orange County with over 8 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated on this site shall in anyway be construed as legal advice, or as creating any attorney client relationship. If you would like to hire Mr. Driessen, feel free to contact him at


Unfortunately you will run up against another problem... when you do not enroll and complete a DUI class on time, the DMV suspends until the class is completed! Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse... If that doesn't happen then great, but if it does at least now you will know why. One suspension for .08; another suspension for the DUI; and at least one more suspension for failure to complete the class on time... even after the Court re-refers him back to the class. He will be re-referred and with your reasons there should not be extra punishment for violation of probation since he did not intentionally fail to enroll and complete the class. Sorry, it's a sad situation.


There is no time to waste. Immediately get into a program. It may require a financial hardship now, but putting it off only lengthens your husbands suspension and inability to drive a rig.


If a year has passed, then the DMV suspension time has expired and as far as the DMV is concerned, your husband will only need to provide proof of his SR22 and pay a reissue fee. The court however is what will be the hold-up. By waiting this long, there is likely to be a warrant for failure to enroll in the 9 month program, and that triggers a hold on the license. So your husband needs to add his case on calendar with the court and ask to get an extension to enroll in the class. Depending upon the judge, your husband may be given another chance with no probation violation but some judges can be tough and will ask why he waited a year before coming back to court. I wish your husband well!