Unfortunately, when you lose your DMV hearing or are convicted of a DUI with a refusal allegation your license is suspended for the number of years that the conviction numbers (one year for a first, two for a second, etc.). I do not know of any steps that you can take to reduce the suspension below the aforementioned statutory scheme.
You were suspended under the Administrative Per Se laws due to your "arrest". This is separate and completely different for a suspension for being "convicted" of a DUI. The restriction that you describe, relates only to the "conviction" suspension and, unfortunately, not to the "arrest" suspension.
Did you have a DMV hearing? If so, depending on a number of factors, you may want to consider appealing the decision of the DMV. I suggest you contact a local attorney from California DUI Lawyers Association for an attorney in your area.