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Do You Lose Your Driver’s License After a DUI?

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | Oct 23, 2023

Let's review what the DMV must prove to take your driver's license away for a California Vehicle Code 23152 VC DUI. For those people who have been arrested for a DUI and their driver's license taken away by police, it will be sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles, also known as the DMV. 

They will ultimately suspend any driver's license attached to a first, second, third, or fourth-time DUI.  The more DUIs you have in the past, the more likely you will have your license revoked for a more extended period.

But the first step is to hire a DUI defense attorney for first-time offenders trying to save their license.  I've been doing this for over 30 years and have handled thousands of DUIs in that timeframe. I know what it takes to properly defend and represent you in front of the DMV and the criminal court.

To take your driver's license away, there are several things the DMV will have to prove.  Some of these seem very simple to you but come up in some DUI cases, so I'll cover everything, even though some may not apply to you. :

Factors That Must Be Proven

The first thing they have to be able to prove is that somebody was driving a motor vehicle.  Sometimes, this can be a problem if when the police come along, the person is not in the car, or the vehicle is stopped and is not moving.  Then the issue becomes how they prove you were driving the motor vehicle.

The second question is, when were you driving the motor vehicle?  Let's say that an accident occurs and the police show up two or three hours later; they're going to need to establish when the person was driving the vehicle if they're going to try to catch them for a DUI.

This is because, ultimately, the prosecutors will hire an expert if the case goes to trial.  If they've got your breath or blood, one of the first pieces of the formula the expert will need is when you were driving the car. 

That way, when they get that blood or breath result, they can extrapolate backward and tell the jury what the person's blood alcohol level was at the time they were tested and then what they believed based on specific scientific factors the blood alcohol level would be at the time of driving. 

But, if they can't pinpoint the time of driving or if it gets too far away, two, three, four hours, now they're going to have some problems of proof in the case, even at the DMV level for purposes of taking a person's driver's license away. 

Another issue I see come up a lot is that the DMV realizes they have to pinpoint the driving time.  I see them asking the police who come upon a vehicle questions designed to identify that time.  Usually, the police are smart enough just to ask the person, when did you drive this vehicle here?  If they admit when they moved it there, that's usually good enough for the DMV.

Of course, another huge issue when it comes to the DMV and them taking your driver's license away is, what was your blood alcohol level?  Was it a .08 or greater?  Were you under a .08? If you were under a .08, now you've got a good argument, and they shouldn't be able to take your driver's license away unless you refuse the test, and then they can take it away for a year.

Review of the Test Results

Once we start discussing the blood alcohol level, we must consider whether you take a blood test.  Did you take a breath test?  What was that result?  How close was it to the legal limit, and can we do anything to put you in a better position?  For example, we could do a blood spit if they took blood.  If it was close, as far as the .08, maybe our expert might think, no, this is not a .08; it is less than a .08.

So, we will look at everything and check the machine to see if it was correctly calibrated and working properly when they took your blood or breath.

So, pick up the phone if you or a loved one has a DUI and you need help with the DMV and in court.  Let me put my 30 years of experience to work for you. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding.  A lot of times, we can quote the case over the phone, and we can get moving on it right away.

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About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding

What Makes Ronald Hedding Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? I've been practicing criminal defense for almost 30 years and have handled thousands of cases, including all types of state and federal sex crime cases. All consultations are discreet and confidential.