Suspension for Out of State Drivers in LA DUI

Driver with a bottle of alcohol

When a driver is arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, he or she will face an immediate driver’s license suspension as well as criminal charges. The driver’s license suspension would be issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. This can often be confusing for drivers who do not live in California or who otherwise do not have a California driver’s license. However, a California DMV suspension can trigger consequences for a driver in his or her home state.

Out of State License Taken Away

After a driver is arrested for DUI, the officer will generally seize his or her California driver’s license and inform the driver of a license suspension that would go into effect 30 days later. For drivers who have a license from another state, the officer is technically not allowed to seize this license. In many cases, the officer will take it anyway and it may be necessary to have the license released to the driver.

The California DMV will be notified of the arrest and will issue a suspension automatically unless the driver requests an administrative hearing within ten days to challenge the suspension. While the California DMV cannot suspend a license issued by another state, the DMV can suspend the driver’s ability to lawfully drive in California for a period of time. In addition, because California is a member of the Driver’s License Agreement and Interstate Compact, any license suspension issued by California will be communicated to a national DMV database. The driver’s home state generally will take action and issue its own suspension once the California action has been recognized.

10 Days to Request Administrative Hearing

The driver can contest the action and request an Administrative Per Se hearing that would be held by a hearing officer with the DMV. This hearing officer is a DMV employee who is neither a judge nor attorney. The hearing officer will ultimately determine whether the suspension should be imposed or set aside.

Regardless of what happens in the administrative hearing, the driver may also face a license suspension if he or she is convicted in court of a DUI offense. This court conviction is also communicated to the DMV, which would then issue a suspension and enter the suspension on the national database so the driver’s home state could take reciprocal action.

Once their license has been suspended, many out of state drivers want to know if they are eligible to get a restricted license. For those living in California, it would be necessary to first apply for a California driver’s license in order to get restricted driving privileges. Drivers who move to California are required by law to obtain California driver’s licenses.

Steps to Clear the California Suspension

For drivers who live out of state, it may be necessary to take further steps to clear the California suspension. These drivers will not be able to complete an instate alcohol education program which is required by the California DMV before driving privileges can be reinstated. In addition, drivers convicted in Los Angeles County generally have to have an Ignition Interlock Device (“IID”) installed in their vehicle under the DMV IID Pilot Program. Drivers who live out of state would have to apply for a waiver in order to have these conditions dropped.

If you have been arrested for DUI and have an out of state license, it is very important that you speak with a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer as soon as possible. Lawyer Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who understands this often confusing area of the law and assists his clients in handling license issues that may arise.

For more information about Los Angeles DUI suspensions for out of state drivers, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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