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DMV Hearings for DUI

Administrative Per Se Hearings for DUI

When a driver is arrested or cited for DUI the driver is usually given a pink colored temporary license from the arresting or citing officer. This pink piece of paper informs the driver that he or she has only ten days from the date of DUI arrest or DUI citation to request a hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) where the driver's privilege to retain his or her license will be decided by a DMV Hearing Board Officer. The pink colored paper also serves as a thirty day temporary license for the driver.

If the driver contacts the DMV within the ten day requirement (may be longer for accident with injury DUIs) the DMV will set a hearing for the driver. The hearing is called the Administrative Per Se hearing, or Admin Per Se for short. (In this article we will refer to the administrative per se hearing as the DMV hearing).

If the driver timely request the a DMV hearing within ten days then he or she is entitled to attend the hearing in person or way of telephone appointment. At the hearing the driver may attempt to defend his or her right privilege to drive without restriction.

Note: The DMV hearing concerns alcohol related DUI, or alcohol and drug DUI related charges only; the DMV does not set hearings for DUI related offenses that involve drugs only. After a DUI conviction in the criminal court the DMV action may be to suspend or revoke the driver's license whether the DUI conviction is for alcohol or drugs or a combination of both alcohol and drugs, but the initial DMV hearing is for alcohol related offenses only. 

In San Bernardino and Riverside county, the DMV hearing for DUIs is held at the DMV's Hearing Board for Driver Safety. The DMV hearing is not held at a local DMV. The address where the DMV hearing is held for both Riverside and San Bernardino county is 1845 Business Center Drive, Suite 212, San Bernardino, CA. 92408. The phone number is 909-383-7439. 

At the DMV hearing the DMV hearing officer will attempt to prove that the driver was driving a motor vehicle with at least a blood alcohol concentration, or "BAC" level of 0.08%. (For commercial drivers the level is 0.04% and for drivers who are on probation for a prior DUI or for drivers who are under the age of 21, the level is 0.01% (also known as zero tolerance).

If the DMV hearing board officer can prove that the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol with at least a 0.08% BAC then the DMV will suspend or revoke the driving privilege of the driver. In addition, if the DMV hearing board officer proves that the driver refused the citing or arresting officer's request to take a chemical test (blood or breath) then the DMV will suspend or revoke the driver's privilege to operate a motor vehicle.

In other words, the DMV hearing officer can suspend or revoke the driver's privilege to drive if the DMV hearing officer proves either that the driver was driving a motor vehicle with at least a 0.08% BAC, or if the driver refused a chemical test.

The evidence that the DMV hearing board officer uses to prove its case against the driver (also called the Respondent) is usually the police report, including the facts in the police report as relayed by the police officers, and the printout of any chemical examination such as a blood or breath test.

The DMV has the burden of proving the the driver was DUI. The burden of proof that must be overcome is a standard known as the preponderance of evidence standard. This means that the DMV must prove that it is more likely than not the the driver was DUI.

If the DMV proves that that the driver was DUI by at least 0.08% then the driver will have his or her license suspended or revoked. The length of suspension or revocation of license depends on the driver's history for DUI and other factors such as how many points the driver already has on his or her driving record and whether or not the driver refused a blood or Breathalyzer test.

DMV Hearing Defense for DUI Allegations:

At the DMV hearing the driver will be allowed to present evidence on his own behalf, almost always through DUI attorney, that proves that either, the defendant was not driving a vehicle, the driver was not driving with a 0.08% or more BAC, or that the defendant was arrested without probable cause.

A DUI attorney who is familiar with the rules of evidence and procedure will look to dozens of possible defenses at DMV hearings for DUI, including improper police procedure, inadequate scientific analysis, improper administration of scientific equipment (blood or breath test), or present witnesses who have contrary evidence to the DMV's evidence.

At the conclusion of the DMV hearing the driver will receive a determination by the DMV on whether or not the DMV intends to suspend the driver's license and on what terms the DMV will return the driver's license.

At a minimum, if the driver does not win the DMV hearing, the driver will have his or her license suspended, be made to take DUI classes, and be made to carry special insurance called an SR-22 policy, before the driver's license is reinstated. Other restrictions may apply depending on the driver's BAC and his criminal history and these restrictions may be modified after the defendant's criminal case is concluded.

Finally, if the DMV decides to suspend or revoke the driver's license after the DMV hearing the driver may appeal the decision of the DMV. The appeal process includes the filing of appropriate documents within fifteen days of the receipt of the decision by the DMV to suspend or revoke the driver's driving privilege.

To learn more about DMV hearings that concern DUI arrest or citations, also called admin per se hearings, contact DUI criminal defense attorney Christopher Dorado today. There is no charge for an in-office consultation where attorney Dorado will explain your criminal defense rights and options.

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DMV Hearings & DUI


California Admin per se hearings / DMV Hearings Law & Defense

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