California's Administrative Per Se Law

man confronted with breathalyzer test inside car

As of this writing, it’s been over 25 years since California enacted the automatic driver’s license suspension law for drunk drivers, also known as the “Administrative Per Se (APS)” driver’s license suspension law.

Back in 1990 when a lot of our clients were barely in elementary school, Iraq invaded Kuwait and the United States started sending troops to Kuwait under Desert Shield. During this time, the U.S. experienced a bad recession and on a lighter note, the Simpsons first aired on FOX TV.

As the recession and the war pressed on, and as the Simpsons won the hearts of millions of families, California implemented the APS law, making it the 28th state to adopt such a law.

As of August of 2015, 42 states had “on-the-spot” or automatic suspension laws for drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08%, and all 50 states had enacted laws that made it illegal to drive with a BAC of .08% or higher.

The California APS law requires that:

  • The California Department of Motor Vehicles suspends or revokes the driver’s license of all drivers with a BAC of .08% or higher.
  • The DMV suspends or revokes the driver’s license of all drivers who refuse a chemical test when they are arrested for DUI.

In 1994, California Enacts its ‘Zero Tolerance Law’

In January 1994, the state of California took its DUI laws a step further by enacting the state’s “zero tolerance” law for drivers under the age of 21. Under California’s zero tolerance law, the DMV is required to suspend the driver’s license of drivers under the age of 21 who: 1) have a BAC of .01% or more, or 2) who refuse to submit to or fail to complete a chemical test.

The 30-Day Driver’s License

When someone is arrested for DUI under the APS law, they will be afforded “due process” under the law. The DUI defendant will be issued a 30-day temporary driver’s license, which is meant to give the defendant sufficient time to challenge their license suspension through the DMV hearing.

If you were arrested for DUI under the APS law, you have just 10 days from the date of the arrest to schedule your DMV hearing. If you fail to schedule this hearing, your license will be suspended automatically. Contact us so we can represent you at the DMV hearing and fight for your license!

For more information about California’s Admin Per Se law, click here.

If you were arrested for DUI in Orange County under California’s APS law (your BAC was .08% or more), contact our office for a free consultation with the DUI Queen!

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