When Can I Drive After a DUI?

After a DUI arrest, sometimes the driver loses the DMV hearing and they are convicted of DUI in criminal court. They receive a letter from the DMV about a four month driver’s license suspension, and they receive a letter from Sacramento saying that their license is suspended for six months. Which letter is right?

The defendant has asked their insurance company to file the SR22, they’ve enrolled in DUI classes, and they are paying their fees, so how long is their licenses suspended for? It’s confusing when a DUI defendant gets two separate letters with different dates about their license suspension.

When will you get your license fully restored so you can drive outside of work and DUI class? Read on as we offer clarity on the subject.

DMV and Criminal Court Process

When you are arrested for driving under the influence, there are two separate court processes: 1) the DMV process and, 2) the criminal court process, both of which may result in a driver’s license suspension. If you receive two letters in the mail about a license suspension, the suspensions may be different.

While the two suspensions exist independently of each other, if you look at the dates, the suspensions generally run at the same time and the overall license suspension is the longer of the two.

  • Under VC Section 13353.3, the DMV suspends a driver’s license for four months because the person lost the DMV hearing.
  • Under VC Section 13352, after a criminal court conviction for a first-time DUI offense, a license is suspended for a six-month period.
  • Under VC Section 13352.4, a defendant is eligible for a restricted license once they enroll in a DUI program, submit the SR22, and pay the required fees.

When are your full driving privileges restored? Not until you have provided the SR22 “proof” of financial responsibility and you successfully complete the DUI program.

We hope this answer your questions about restoring your driving privileges after a DUI. If you are facing DUI charges, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a free case evaluation. Our lead attorney is a member of the National College for DUI Defense and she is a Board-Certified expert in DUI defense.

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