2nd DUI License Suspension California

How long is a 2nd DUI license Suspension in California?

A 2nd DUI License Suspension in California can be as short as 1 year (with an allowance to drive to-from work after the first 90 days) and as long as a lifetime suspension, depending on the driver’s record, the circumstances of the driver’s DUI case, and whether the driver submitted a blood or breath sample to law enforcement.

The lengths for 2nd DUI license suspension in California cases are:

Class C  (The most common license most driver’s have) 2nd DUI License Suspension in California:

  • 1 Year: In most 2nd DUI cases, the driver faces a one year license suspension from the California DMV, with the ability to apply for a restricted license to drive to-from work after 90 days.
  • 1 Year HARD license suspension with no to-from work exemption if the driver violated DUI Probation and was cited for a “Zero-Tolerance DUI-Probation” violation
  • 2 Years HARD license suspension with no to-from work exemption if the driver refused to submit a blood or breath sample to law enforcement
  • Lifetime Suspension if the driver is deemed to have an alcohol-dependency problem that involves a “Phyisical” or “Mental” issue that the DMV determines necessitates a driving ban.

Class A (Commercial Driver’s License) 2nd DUI License Suspensions in California:

  • Lifetime suspension for All Class A operations, in all 2nd DUI cases in California, regardless of any extenuating circumstances.

2nd DUI License Suspension California
As you can see, a 2nd DUI License suspension in California can vary depending on the nature of the case and the past record of the driver.

How to Avoid a 2nd DUI License Suspension in California: Attacking the DMV’s APS process head on.

Request an APS Hearing

In order to avoid a 2nd DUI license suspension in California, a driver who is facing 2nd DUI charges should start by requesting an APS hearing (or having an attorney request an APS hearing on their behalf).   This request must be made within 10 days of the 2nd DUI arrest.  Otherwise, the California DMV will automatically start a 2nd DUI license suspension against the driver 30 days after the arrest.

Prepare for the APS Hearing

The APS process is also known as the “Administrative Per Se” process. This process is administrative in nature: it is not handled in criminal or civil court. Instead, it is handled administratively within the DMV. This means the APS process has rules that are different from criminal or civil court. Many people who face a 2nd DUI License Suspension in California are shocked to learn how watered down the driver’s rights are in an APS Hearing. (See our “DMV vs. Court” Article describing the difference between an APS hearing and The DUI Court process.)
The APS process involves a hearing officer from the DMV who will review the police reports, blood or breath evidence, witness statements, audio or video (if there is any) and make a ruling based on the evidence.
Most APS hearings last only 15 to 20 minutes, and most involve only a cursory reading of the police report.   If the driver does not present a defense, that is all that the DMV Hearing Officer will look at before making a ruling.   If the driver loses at the APS hearing, the DMV will suspend the driver’s license in accordance with the applicable section in the California Vehicle Code.

Defenses that win APS hearings and avoid 2nd DUI License Suspensions in California:

For the most common 2nd DUI cases, the DMV has to show:

  • The Driver was lawfully detained arrested
  • The Driver was in fact driving on a public highway or roadway
  • The Driver’s BAC (blood alcohol content) was at or above 0.08% at the time of driving

Defenses that win 2nd DUI APS Hearings in California:

A 2nd DUI APS hearing is substantially similar to a 1st DUI APS hearing, only the stakes are greater.