When you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Alameda, your driver's license is immediately taken by the arresting police officer (unless you are an out-of-state driver). The arresting officer then gives you a pink sheet of paper that serves as a temporary driver's license and a notice that your driver's license may be suspended in thirty (30) days automatically if you do not request a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You have only ten (10) days in which to request a hearing with the DMV in order to avoid the automatic suspension.
Alameda Drunk-Driving DMV Process
The DMV Administrative hearing is your only opportunity to challenge the DMV's attempt to suspend, revoke, or restrict your driving privileges. The hearing is held by a hearing officer who is an employee of the DMV. The issues that are reviewed by the hearing officer in making a determination are:
- Did the police have reasonable cause to stop you (i.e., were you driving in violation of Vehicle Code Sections §23140, 23152, or 23153)?
- Did you submit to chemical testing and if so, did you have a blood-alcohol-content level of .08% or more?
- Did you refuse to submit to chemical testing after being requested to do so by a police officer?
- Did the police make a lawful arrest?
- Were you advised of your right to refuse chemical testing and did the police advise you of the consequences of doing so?
During the hearing, oral testimony as well as copies of police reports and other written documentation may be presented as evidence. The DMV hearing officer generally will attempt to utilize the arresting police officer's sworn statement as evidence against you. It is important for your Alameda DUI attorney to attempt to have the statement not admitted if possible. If the statement and/or police report is not completed or filled-in properly, then it is possible to block its being made part of the record and the hearing officer can not consider it. Much of the battle with the DMV revolves around the admissibility of this evidence and if your Alameda DUI attorney can win this battle, then more than likely your driving privileges will be preserved.
Once all of the evidence is presented and any and all witnesses are heard from, the DMV hearing officer will begin his or her evaluation. This process generally takes anywhere from two weeks to a couple of months. The DMV hearing officer will mail the final decision to you. If it was determined that there was no basis for your driving privileges to be suspended, revoked, or restricted, then you will be allowed to continue to drive. If your driving privileges are suspended, you may be able to apply for a restricted driver's license, allowing you to drive to and from work. First-time DUI offenders are entitled to apply for restricted driving privileges and second-time DUI offenders may also apply for a restricted license; however, they must have completed at least a year of the “Multiple Offenders” class in order to be eligible. Most often, convicted DUI offenders are also required to file with the DMV formal proof of insurance — SR-22 form. DUI offenders may be required to file an SR-22 form for up to three years. If your driver's license is suspended or revoked, the DMV may also require that certain conditions be met before your driving privileges may be reinstated. Such conditions may include your enrollment and completion in an alcohol education class.
Overall, a successful DMV Administrative hearing is the result of having an experienced and knowledgeable Alameda DUI attorney by your side. As highly-skilled and experienced Alameda DUI lawyers, we know the law and science required to devise creative defenses which allow our clients to maintain their driving privileges and minimize the consequences of their DUI arrests. We represent those who are charged with drunk-driving at their DMV Administrative hearings and in court.