What happens in a DMV hearing for a DUI case? The APS Process explained by a Los Angeles DUI Attorney.
In any DUI case, there are two important processes that a driver facing DUI charges should understand: the criminal court process and the DMV’s APS process. The APS (which stands for “Administrative Per Se”) is an internal DMV administrative process where the DMV can suspend the driver’s license of a person arrested for DUI in California.
The APS process starts when law enforcement gives the driver a pink “temporary” license and takes away their plastic “permanent” license. When this happens, the clock starts ticking for the driver to take action, or face an automatic license suspension from the DMV.
The driver has 10 days to request a hearing, otherwise the DMV will begin an automatic license suspension against the driver, which will start 30 days after the arrest and last anywhere from 4 months for a first offender DUI, to potentially a life time suspension for drivers with terrible driving records/multiple DUI offenses.
History of the APS process in California:
In 1990, the California legislature changed how DUI cases were handled by the DMV. Before the changes, the DMV did not suspend someone’s driver’s license for a DUI offense on its own: it had to wait until there was a criminal conviction before taking license action against the driver. With the changes to the California Vehicle Code in 1990, the DMV was granted authority to suspend someone’s driver’s license on its own through its internal “Administrative Per Se” hearing process. The APS process is not as complicated as it may seem, in fact it involves a much simpler analysis by the DMV when it looks at DUI cases. Perhaps the single biggest problem with the APS process is its watered down procedural rights: DUI drivers stand a much, much better chance winning in court than they do in the DMV’s APS process.
DMV Hearings for DUI cases: Reference Links.
California DMV APS process: PDF Information from the California DMV on how the APS process works and what needs to be done in an APS hearing.
Avvo Information on DUI license suspensions and the DMV hearing process.