California’s DUI laws can be complex and confusing. In this section, our attorneys break down the rules and explain the process.
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If you were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in California, the arresting police officer most likely gave you a pink “Notice of Suspension.” The notice informs you to request a DMV hearing to prevent the suspension of your driver’s license. But what phone number do you call?
You must contact a Driver Safety office of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to request a DMV administrative hearing (also referred to as an “administrative per se (APS) hearing”). Please find the telephone numbers of several offices below.
|El Segundo||(310) 615-3500|
|San Bernardino||(909) 383-7413|
|San Diego||(619) 220-5300|
|San Francisco||(415) 557-1170|
|Van Nuys||(818) 376-4217|
Please visit the California’s DMV website here for the contact information for all of California’s DMV Driver Safety offices. The link includes information as to hours, accessibility, and parking information.
Note that these offices are different from other DMV field offices where you typically go to:
A California DMV DUI hearing is an administrative hearing held before a hearing officer at a DMV Driver Safety office.
If arrested for DUI, you likely received a pink notice entitled, “Notice of Suspension.” The document informs you that you have the right to request a hearing in order to avoid a driver’s license suspension.1
You must request a hearing within 10 calendar days from the date of your arrest. The California DMV will automatically suspend your driving privileges if you do not make a hearing request within this time period.2
You can request a hearing by calling a DMV Driver Safety office (see above). The office typically asks you to identify yourself by providing your:
You will speak with a DMV employee that will work with you to schedule a hearing date. Your hearing may be either:
If you are represented by a DUI defense attorney, your DUI attorney can call and schedule a hearing on your behalf.
You request a DMV hearing following a DUI arrest in order to challenge the validity of the arrest.3
Some of the issues that a DMV hearing officer will consider and rule on are whether:
A hearing officer will likely issue a driver’s license suspension or revocation if he/she finds that:
Findings to the contrary will likely result in the reinstatement of your driving privileges.6
You have several rights in the course of a DMV administrative review. Examples include the right to:
Yes. You will face two different legal proceedings if arrested in California for drunk driving. These are:
If a criminal court finds you guilty of DUI, then it has the authority to impose several penalties in addition to a license suspension. Some of these include:
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.