License Suspension

You must contact the California DMV to request an Administrative Hearing within 10 days to protect your driving privileges.


In California, a DUI arrest usually results in the officer confiscating the person’s California Drivers License and issuing a temporary one. As a matter of course, the California temporary license will expire after 30 days if no action is taken. To prevent loss of driving privileges, the person arrested for DUI can request a CA DMV administrative hearing. The request for a CA DMV administrative hearing must be made within 10 days of your DUI arrest. While you are waiting for your Department of Motor Vehicles administrative hearing, your California Driving privileges will not not be suspended.

If you win the administrative hearing, your license will be safe until the court makes a decision. So, by requesting a DMV administrative listing, you will get to keep driving legally longer. The DMV hearing is an administrative proceeding regarding your driving privilege and the circumstances surrounding the arrest, not whether you are innocent or guilty of a criminal act.

The hearing officer – who is an employee of the California Department of Motor Vehicles – makes three determinations:

  • Who was driving.
  • If the arresting officer had “reasonable cause” to pull over and arrest the driver.
  • Whether the driver had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or above.

Depending on the specific facts in your DUI case, each of these points can be challenged – if you win any one of them, you get to keep your driving privileges. Generally, though, a successful challenge of a California DMV administrative hearing requires the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles maintains 12 Driver Safety Offices. You can only request a DMV administrative hearing at the specific one that handles DUI cases for the county you were arrested in. Find the Driver Safety Office closest to you, but make sure they handle cases from the county of your DUI arrest. You can find more information at the California DMV’s website about DUI administrative hearings.