Fresno DUI law & your driver's license
The law in Fresno and California is specific as it relates to driving under the influence (DUI) offenses. You will be arrested on a DUI charge if it is determined that you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or higher or are determined to be "under the influence". And, if you are a have commercial driver's license, and are operating your commercial vehicle, the limit is 0.04 percent or higher BAC. And, if you are a minor, under the age of 21, the limit is 0.01 percent BAC.
When you are charged with a DUI offense in Fresno, your driver's license will also be suspended and/or revoked through a separate administrative proceeding at the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The length of time for your driver's license suspension will be determined based upon whether you have a previous conviction on a charge of DUI or have participated in a DMV administrative suspension hearing for having a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. Additionally, a charge of felony DUI will affect the status of your driver's license more than a misdemeanor DUI charge.
What are the different DUI offenses in California?
An overview of Fresno DUI offenses and suspension times is as follows:
- First offense: If this is your first offense and it is being charged as a misdemeanor, you will face a license suspension of four months from the administrative hearing and six months from a criminal conviction.
- Second offense: If you receive a second DUI offense within 10 years of your first DUI offense, you will face a license suspension of one year from the administrative hearing and two years as a result of a criminal conviction.
- Third offense: If you receive a third DUI within 10 years, you will face a one year driver's license suspension resulting from the administrative hearing and three years resulting from a criminal conviction.This overview is based upon the assumption that you are an adult driver.
If you are a minor, you will lose your license for one year on your first DUI offense.
The implied consent law in California
Like many other states, California has an implied consent law, which means that you automatically agree to submit to chemical testing to determine your BAC level in exchange for the right to possess a driver's license and to drive on the state's roadways. While you have the right to refuse to submit to this type of testing, doing so will likely result in a harsher punishment than if you had submitted to the test.
Failure for an adult or minor driver to submit to an law enforcement officer's request to determine your BAC will result in a driver's license suspension by the DMV that also varies depending upon any prior offenses:
- First offense: a one year suspension
- Second offense, within 10 years: a two year suspension
- Third offense, within 10 years: a three year suspension
Restricted license in California after a DUI
On a first DUI offense, you may be issued a five-month restricted driver's license, which restricts your driving privileges to and from work, during work, and to and from a DUI school, after you have served the first 30 days of the administrative suspension. If your driver's license is also suspended as the result of the criminal conviction, you will receive credit for the so-called "hard" suspension that is actually served from the administrative suspension and you can have another five-month restricted driver's license. You cannot obtain your full, unrestricted driver's license until you successfully complete a DUI school.
If this is your first DUI offense, you may be eligible to obtain a restricted non-commercial driver's license if:
- you complied with the state's request to test your BAC,
- your result was a BAC of 0.08 percent for a non-commercial and 0.04 percent for commercial driver's license,
- you are at least 21 years of age, and-you have no other restrictions on your license.For a second DUI offense within a period of 10 years, after 90 days from the date of the conviction, you can obtain a restricted driver's license if you install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle, file an SR22 liability insurance certificate with MVD, enroll in a DUI school and pay the fee for a reissue of your driver's license.
Do you need a Fresno DUI defense attorney?
When dealing with DUI-related offenses, you should always contact a DUI defense attorney to provide you with the best defense possible. The relationship between DUI charges and the DMV driver's license suspension process is unique and requires an experienced DUI attorney who can assist you with understanding your rights and who will do everything possible to help you retain your driving privileges. DUI offenses can be very scientifically complex with numerous issues surrounding the evidence against you. It is in your best interest to meet with a Fresno DUI attorney as soon as possible to discuss the facts of your case.
Contact an attorney
If you are facing charges related to a first offense DUI, do not think that your only choice is to plead guilty. Take a moment to contact Terry A. Wapner and schedule a consultation in order to discuss the facts of your case and be advised of your options.