California has a new DUI law covering the APS license suspension process that you should be aware of. The changes embodied in this new law will mean driver’s who face an APS license suspension have new options they should discuss with a DUI lawyer.
Breathalyzer to avoid License Suspension
Starting January 2018, California drivers facing an APS suspension for a first offense DUI can avoid the mandatory 30 day “hard” license suspension if they immediately install an ignition interlock device on their car.
In the past, a person stopped for a first offense DUI in California was subjected to the “Administrative Per Se” process that resulted in a “hard” 30 day suspension of their driving privileges. This meant the driver could not drive AT ALL: not to work, not to medical appointments, not to school.
Under the revised law, a driver can avoid the 30 day “hard” suspension if they agree to install an ignition interlock device (a Breathalyzer attached to the car’s ignition, preventing the car from starting if the driver has alcohol on their breath.) This will allow driver’s who cannot afford to lose their license to avoid the “hard” suspension.
The Administrative Per Se process (“APS” for short) was created in 1990 by the California Legislature as way to ensure the DMV had authority to suspend the driver’s license of drivers arrested for DUI in California. Before the APS process was established, drivers in California who were arrested for DUI would only face criminal court penalties for their alleged DUI driving. The court could impose fines, jail time, probation, alcohol education classes and driver’s license restrictions. Following passage of the APS process, the DMV was authorized to act separate and apart from the criminal courts. This led to a situation where a driver could avoid criminal liability but still face DMV penalties as a result of their impaired driving.
IID DUI Reference Links:
California Highway Patrol New law on IID’s and California Driver’s License Suspensions.
California DMV information on APS hearingsLearn more about the APS process in DUI cases in California.