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What happens at the DMV hearing?

A DMV hearing is the first procedural step that takes place after someone is arrested for a DUI. You have 10 days to request a hearing or your license will be automatically suspended for four months, assuming it is your first DUI. The issues addressed at the DMV are the following:

  1. Did the police officer have reasonable cause to believe you were driving a motor vehicle in violation of VC Sections 23152, 23153, or 23154?
  2. Were you lawfully detained while on DUI probation or lawfully arrested?
  3. Were you driving a motor vehicle when you had .01% BAC while on DUI probation; .04% BAC or more while driving a commercial vehicle, or .08% BAC or more while driving a noncommercial vehicle?

These issues assume that a chemical test was provided.

If a chemical test was not provided under VC 23612, the additional issues addressed at the hearing are the following:

  1. One and two listed above.
  2. Were you told that your driving privilege would be suspended or revoked for 1, 2, or 3 years if you refused to submit to or failed to complete a chemical test?
  3. Did you refuse to submit to or fail to complete a chemical test or preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test (while on probation) after being requested to do so by a peace officer.

It is important to understand that the DMV will not suspend your license if your BAC was lower than .08% (assuming a chemical test was provided). However, the district attorney may still prosecute a DUI for less than .08% BAC.

VC 23152(a) provides that it is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle.

VC 23152(a) deals with impairment not BAC. That is, the State of California defines under the influence as " his or her mental or physical abilities are so impaired that he or she is no longer able to drive a vehicle with the caution of a sober person, using ordinary care, under similar circumstances" (CAL CRIIM 2110). This impairment has to be the result of an alcoholic beverage and/or taking a drug.

If you have been arrested for a DUI, and you are looking for representation on your DMV hearing as well, please contact my office today and speak with me personally about your case.