2nd DUI License Suspension

2nd DUI License Suspension: How long is the 2nd DUI License Suspension and how what you can do about it:

A 2nd DUI License Suspension in California can come from two sources: The DMV and the Criminal Courts.  Both the DMV and the criminal courts want to punish and deter DUI in the hopes of lowering accident rates and reducing injuries/collisions related to DUI cases.

Typical Length of Suspension for 2nd DUI License Suspension cases:

1 year for 0.08% or higher blood alcohol level cases
2 years for refusal cases

The length of the suspension depends on a number of factors:
-The record of the driver
-Whether there was a lawful arrest of the driver
-Whether the driver submitted a chemical test to law enforcement

DMV vs. Court: 2nd DUI License Suspension cases in California.



The DMV has an administrative procedure called the “APS” or “Administrative Per Se” procedure that will suspend someone’s license automatically unless the driver sets up an APS hearing and can present a winning defense. The DMV APS process has some very significant differences compared to the criminal court process.  The important differences are:

-No right to a jury in an APS hearing
-Limited Evidentiary Rules/Procedural Safeguards in the APS hearing: Hearsay, Foundation Requirements for Evidence,
-Lower Burden of Proof in DMV hearings: The “Preponderance of Evidence Standard” vs. “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” standard in criminal court.


A 2nd DUI license suspension from Criminal Court differs from the DMV APS suspension because the DMV suspension involves a hard, no-driving whatsoever suspension while license restrictions from criminal courts allow for drivers to still drive to and from work, provided they meet the terms and conditions of probation.

A 2nd DUI License Suspension in California  is longer than a 1st DUI in the case involves a driver with a blood alcohol level above 0.08%, or if the driver refused to submit a blood or breath sample for law enforcement. The California DMV is the government agency that enforces 2nd DUI License suspensions.

2nd DUI License Suspension: Cases with 0.08% or higher BAC

A driver arrested for a 2nd DUI faces a 1 year license suspension
Most 2nd DUI License suspension cases involve a driver with a blood alcohol level at or above 0.08% at the time of driving. In order to suspend the driver’s license, the DMV has to establish the following at an APS hearing:
-The Driver was driving a motor vehicle on public roadways
-The Driver had a blood alcohol level at or above 0.08% at the time of driving
-The Driver was lawfully arrested
If the DMV cannot establish one or all of these factors, the driver is entitled to a set-aside of the suspension affecting their driving privileges.

2nd DUI License suspension: Refusal to submit a chemical sample.

The penalties for 2nd DUI license suspension involving refusal to submit chemical samples to law enforcement is more harsh: 2 year license suspension. The issues that need to be establshed at the APS hearing involving a 2nd DUI with refusal are:
-The lawful detention/arrest of the driver
-The proper admonishment of the driver
-The driver’s willful refusal
If the DMV cannot establish one or more of these factors, the driver is entitled to a set-aside of the suspension.

Leave a Reply