Reinstating Your License After A DUI

Woman taking away keys from a man drinking

If you have been charged with or arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in California, you are likely aware of the long road ahead to have all of your driving privileges reinstated so that you can move forward with your everyday life and routines. Fortunately, with the help of a qualified lawyer, you can navigate the process more easily.

License Suspensions

Under California state law, an officer is required to immediately forward a completed license suspension notice to all relevant agencies when a person is arrested for DUI, including to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV will immediately conduct a review of the suspension, including a review of any blood or chemical test results and an examination of the revocation order. If the review proves that the arresting officer followed all necessary protocol—and that the person was, in fact, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs—the agency will approve the suspension. Once the charge passes this review, a person will be required to appear in court before a judge if he or she is interested in contesting the suspension or revocation of his or her license.


While this may seem the most difficult and trying part of the process, oftentimes reinstating a suspended driver’s license may be just as difficult. The standard process dictates that a state agency will return the driver’s license to the offender at the end of the period of suspension or revocation. For this to occur, the person guilty of DUI must pay a $125 reissue fee to the DMV (this fee is only $100 if you were under age 21 at the time of arrest and charged under the Zero Tolerance policy).

This process is one that all people found guilty of DUI in California must undergo. If a driver 21 years of age and older is found guilty of DUI, he or she will automatically be subject to a 4-month suspension of his or her driver’s license. Providing on the specifics of the case and the ruling of a judge, this may be reduced to only one month, with a five-month period driving on a restricted license (meaning that the person may still drive to work, or sometimes school). This punishment increases with the severity of the charge and depending on whether or not it was the first offense.

If you or someone you know is facing a DUI in California, contact an experienced San Jose criminal defense attorney for assistance. Call (408) 898-9770 to schedule a free initial consultation at the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich today.


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