According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), in 1980 when
MAAD was founded, about 25,000 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes
each year. By 2014, the number of alcohol-related fatalities was cut by
more than half.
Why such a drop in drunk driving fatalities nationwide? Lawmakers say that
we have administrative per say and “zero tolerance” laws,
and anti-drinking and driving educational campaigns to thank for the reduction
in drunk driving deaths. But, what exactly is the administrative per se law?
California’s APS Law
The administrative per se (APS) law hasn’t been around forever. California
adopted the law in 1990, becoming the 28th state to automatically suspend
the driver’s licenses of impaired drivers with a
blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more. In other words: if you drink and drive, your license
can be suspended on the spot.
In January of 1994, the state of California took it one step further by
adopting the “zero tolerance law,” which automatically suspends
the driver’s license of drivers under the age of 21 who are caught
with .01% or more BAC. This means that a young driver can get a DUI if
they have any measurable amount of alcohol in their system.
Scheduling a DMV Hearing
Since driver's licenses are controlled by the California Department
of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the APS law requires the DMV to suspend a person's
license as soon as they are notified by law enforcement of a
DUI arrest. Although an arrest does not mean a person is guilty of drunk driving,
they could still lose their driving privileges unless successfully contested at a
Although APS allows for your license to be suspended upon arrest, do not
think of this as a permanent suspension. In California, you have 10 days
from the date of the DUI arrest to request an administrative hearing with
the DMV. This is your only chance to contest
If you do not request this hearing or are not successful at the hearing,
your license will automatically be suspended for 30 days. After this 30
days is up (temporary license period), you will either have successfully
contested your license suspension or you will begin serving a 4-moth or
1-year suspension period, depending if you have any prior DUI convictions.
California's "per se" law also applies to individuals who
refuse to take a chemical test. Refusing to take a breath, blood or sometimes
a urine test after you you’ve been arrested triggers an automatic
driver’s license suspension. Like a DUI, refusing a
chemical test will get your license suspended and this can only be contested within
10 days at a DMV hearing.
30-Day Temporary Licenses
Any individual who has had their license suspended by the DMV after a DUI
offense will be issued a 30-day temporary license. This is so that you
can drive until your DMV hearing takes place. Your license will be permanently
suspended if you are unsuccessful at the DMV hearing, regardless of whether
the full 30 days have passed.
Restricted Driver Licenses
California's per se law allows some individuals to obtain a restricted
driver's license so that they can drive even before their license
suspension is up. The conditions for obtaining a restricted driver's
- Serving at least 30 days of complete suspension (no driving)
- Providing proof of insurance
- Providing proof of enrollment in an alcohol treatment program
- Pay all necessary fines
This restricted driver's license is only good for driving to and from
alcohol education classes and the person's place of employment.
To learn more about California's administrative per se (APS) law,
contact an Orange County DUI attorney at the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry,
Inc. We offer
free consultations, so do not hesitate to call