Determine when you are eligible for a restricted license
2nd offense - eligible for a restricted license after 90 days.
3rd offense - eligible for a restricted license after 6 months.
Get an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), insurance, and enroll in your DUI class
Before you are eligible under the law, you must have:
1. An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your car
2. Be enrolling in your DUI class
3. Have an SR-22 (insurance) on file with the DMV
4. Pay the DMV fees to re-instate your license
You can locate IID installers and DUI classes on the DMV website.
Get Denied by DMV
After you have done everything under the law to qualify, go to the DMV to ask for a restricted license. If the offense date of your most recent DUI was before July 1, 2010, the DMV will deny your request. Their interpretation of the law is that it does not apply to you. The DMV is mistaken. Please read on...
The DMV Argument
Here is the DMV's reasoning:
When a new law is applied to events in the past, it is referred to as "retroactive". Generally, new laws are not "retroactive" unless the law specifically says it is. The new law in this case (an amendment to VC section 13352), does not specifically state that it is "retroactive". So, the DMV simply looks at the date of your DUI and the July 1, 2010 date, and concludes it does not apply to your case.
Why the DMV is Wrong
Here is why the DMV is wrong:
The new law is not applied to your date of offense. That is, the new law does not change anything about your offense. It does not change the criminal punishment (in court). It does not change the suspension period of your license (still 2 years). What the new amendment does, is create a new process, or procedure, that you can follow if you want to earn a restricted license early. The new law therefore applies to an event in the future - your act of qualifying. Specifically, the new law applies to your act of installing the IID, getting insurance, enrolling in your class, and paying the fees. These acts are completed after July 1, 2010, so the law is not being applied "retroactive" when applied to your case. This is not just an argument that I came up with one day. It is the law. Consider the language of Judge Fell in Orange County (next section).
Judge Fell Order in Orange County
"Viewed functionally, a statute that establishes roles for the conduct of pending litigation without changing the legal consequences of past conduct 'is not made retroactive merely because it draws upon facts existing prior to its enactment .... [Instead,] [t]he effect of such statutes is actually prospective in nature since they relate to the procedure to be followed in the future.' [Citations.] For this reason, [courts] have said that 'it is a misnomer to designate [such statutes] as having retrospective effect.' [Citations.]" (Californians for Disability Rights, supra, 39 Cal.4th at 211-212.)
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