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DUI Drugs and the Driver’s License Suspensions

  • May 26, 2017

    When a driver is arrested for driving under the influence they can receive up to two different license suspensions. It’s important to realize that under the California Vehicle Code Section 23152 VC, driving under the influence of drugs doesn’t constitute the same charges as driving under the influence of alcohol.

    Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol Suspension

    When you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol, the arresting officer will perform a breathalyzer test. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over .08, then you are formally charged with a DUI. Your arrest institutes a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license.

    This suspension is effective 30 days after the date of your arrest. When you are cited for the DUI offense you will typically receive a notice of the Administrative Driver’s License Suspension. This suspension happens automatically unless you request a hearing with the DMV within 10 days of the date of your arrest.

    The hearing with the DMV officer will decide whether your license will be suspended or not depending on the evidence presented. Since blood tests for BAC take several weeks to come back, it’s in your best interest to have your Los Angeles DUI lawyers request an Administrative Hearing. This will help to ensure you can drive until the results of the blood test are presented to prove whether you were over or under the .08 BAC limit.

    Driving Under The Influence Of Drugs Suspensions

    As we discussed above, there is no automatic license suspension for those found driving under the influence of drugs. However, when the DUI case goes to court the judge may institute a court driver’s license suspension.

    In the case a driver is found guilty of driving under the influence of drugs, their court suspension will be passed along to the DMV for enforcement. Those who are guilty violated the California Vehicle Code Sections 23152(e) VC and 23152(f) VC.

    Those who are found in violation of the law will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle to have their driving privileges restored. This is typically an option given to those who want to receive their driving privileges instead of serving a suspension.

    Even though there may not have been alcohol in your system at the time of your arrest, the ignition interlock device system can still be used in accordance with reinstating your driving privileges. This is because Los Angeles County is part of the Ignition Interlock Device Pilot Program.

    Use Of Ignition Interlock Devices

    An ignition interlock device is installed in a vehicle to ensure that the driver is not under the influence of alcohol. The interlock device is activated by blowing into the breathalyzer. Typically when a driver goes to start their car with this device on it, they must breathe into the breathalyzer tube and the device will shoot out a reading.

    If the driver is under the limit set by the ignition interlock device, the car will start. If the device detects the driver to be over the limit, the car will not start. This ignition interlock device must be utilized for at least five full months before the driver may have it removed and have their regular driving privileges reinstated by the state of California.

    In cases where a driver is charged with reduced DUI offenses, the driver may not be imposed to use the ignition interlock device. These lesser offenses can include reckless driving or exhibition of speed and can be found in the California Vehicle Code Sections 23103 VC and 23109(c) VC.

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