US Supreme Court Affirms 4th Amendment Protection

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld an individual’s right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures in Lange v. California.


The justices ruled that the 4th Amendment rights of a California motorist were violated when a CHP officer followed him home, entered his garage without a search warrant, then investigated and cited him for DUI.


The key events in Lange’s case were:

  • A retired Sonoma County real estate broker was followed home by a California Highway Patrol officer.
  • The officer turned on the flashing lights of his patrol car just as Lange pulled into his driveway. Lange was listening to music and was not aware the officer was following him.
  • The officer followed Lange into his garage, questioned him and then wrote him a ticket for driving under the influence.
  • Lange filed a motion to suppress the evidence obtained after he entered his garage, and the state court judge denied the motion. Appellate courts in California upheld the decision.


The U.S. Supreme Court considered the question whether the pursuit of a fleeing misdemeanor suspect always qualifies as an “exigent circumstance,” or exception to the requirement that police obtain a warrant before conducting a search of someone’s home.


“The need to pursue a misdemeanant does not trigger a categorical rule allowing home entry, even absent a law enforcement emergency,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote. “When the nature of the crime, the nature of the flight, and surrounding facts present no such exigency, officers must respect the sanctity of the home — which means that they must get a warrant.”


If you have been charged with a DUI, or another criminal offense, we can help. For more information, call us at 1-800-NoCuffs.

What Happens After I am Arrested for a DUI?

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) laws are getting stricter with each passing year and the consequences of conviction are increasingly severe. In most states, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will automatically suspend the license of anyone who’s arrested for a DUI and has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more or refuses a blood or breath test.


This automatic DMV action is often called an “administrative per se” suspension. Administrative suspensions are triggered by the DUI arrest—rather than a conviction in criminal court—and usually go into effect 30 days or so after the arrest.


A driver who wishes to contest an administrative per se suspension must promptly request a hearing. The driver typically has ten days (or less) to contact the DMV and do this. If you fail to request a hearing at this time, your driving privileges will be automatically suspended.


Instead of focusing on what you should have done, you need to focus on what to do next, in order to minimize the impact of a DUI arrest.


Drivers who represent themselves have almost no chance of winning since the DMV hearing officer is acting as the prosecutor and the judge. The hearing officer is going to suspend your license just based on the arrest UNLESS you or your attorney show why the officer doesn’t have the authority to do that.


Some issues at the hearing could be:

  • Was there a lawful arrest?
  • Was the BAC at or above .08 at the time of driving?
  • Did the driver refuse chemical testing?
  • Is the government’s evidence admissible?


In many cases, the police may have made a mistake in procedure or documentation. This is why having an attorney present at your hearing can help your case. Just because you were arrested for a DUI does not mean you have to lose your driver’s license.


We can help you defend against a DUI charge or other criminal charges. We’re experts at navigating the system. Learn more at, or call us at 1-800-NoCuffs.

Did you know these could lead to a DUI arrest?

You go out with friends, share some laughs and have a few drinks. You’re well aware of your limits and have always been able to determine if you can drive home safely. However, what happens when the odds catch up with you? In some DUI cases, police will pull you over because of signs of impairment, such as swerving or driving well below the speed limit. But did you know an expired registration sticker can also lead to a DUI arrest?


Here are some other common reasons you might be pulled over: 


Broken tail light

You might wonder how a routine stop for a broken tail light leads to a DUI arrest. A police officer can stop your car if they have reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred, which includes minor traffic violations. Broken tail lights seem like a harmless offense, but any sort of driving infraction that can be seen as a possible danger, such as having a broken or burned-out taillight, can lead to a traffic stop.


A third brake light out

A third brake light is the light or lights mounted high and at the center of your vehicle’s rear window. If it is out, you can be pulled over. Should you seem intoxicated or an officer sees something in your vehicle that is illegal, like an open bottle of alcohol, you may be charged with a DUI.


Not having a front license plate

In California, the DMV always issues two license plates for each vehicle, which means each vehicle is required to have one license plate on the front and one on the back. Most often, police will not pull you over for a missing front license plate. However, police may do this for the purpose of discovering drivers under the influence or committing other crimes. And yes, legally they can stop you for this type of technical violation, even though their true intent is to investigate other possible wrongdoings.


The next move is up to you

Seeing those flashing lights come up behind you is extremely nerve wracking, but you need to react intelligently. First, pull over to a safe spot on the right side of the road. Turn on your dome light and place your hands on the steering wheel so the officer can see them. You should be able to locate your registration and insurance card easily when asked to present them. Be courteous, but not overly friendly or talkative. Do not volunteer information; the officer does not need to know the details about the party you attended or how much you had to drink. Remember that any admission you make about drinking could be used against you.


We can help you defend against a DUI charge or other criminal charges. We’re experts at navigating the system. Learn more at, or call us at 1-800-NoCuffs.

Are you a wobbler? You are if you drive without a valid license in California

driving car on the mountain roadWhile it may seem like a minor offense to some, in California driving with a suspended or revoked license can lead to some hefty fines and even jail time. This particular part of the state’s vehicle code even has a classification of its own: wobbler.

What does this mean? Basically, a wobbler offense means the end result of being convicted wobbles between an infraction or a misdemeanor, and the latter comes with a criminal record.

Having a skilled attorney by your side if you’re ever in this situation can be a game changer, as there are many circumstances in which jail time or fines can be avoided. It’s a matter of knowing how this particular offense is handled.

Understanding the legal definition

First, it’s helpful to have a handle on what this part of the vehicle code even means. There are basically four different ways you can be found driving without a license:

  • Never obtaining one
  • Not being old enough to drive
  • Not renewing your license
  • Living in California, while driving with an out-of-state but not getting a state license

One important note: You aren’t considered in violation of this code if you’re simply not carrying your license. You can be charged with a different offense, though, and you may face a fine of up to $250 if found guilty of driving without a license in your possession. So, it’s always a good idea to carry it around at all times.

What are the penalties?

If you are charged with an infraction for driving without a license, the fines are usually no larger than $250. It’s when it ventures into misdemeanor territory that the penalties are greater. It may include the following:

  • Probation for up to 3 years
  • Fines of up to $1000
  • A county jail sentence of up to six months
  • Vehicle impoundment for 30 days, if you have a prior driving-related conviction record

Your legal offense is tied to your driving history. If it’s a first offense, it’s usually a fine. Repeated offenders, though, will likely get hit with a misdemeanor.

What to expect in court

The burden of proof once you hit the court system is also different than in many other cases — it’s much heavier for the defendant. In this case, the prosecution only needs to show that the driver was without a license at the time of the offense. This means the defendant has the burden of proof to show they had a valid license.

This one is strange in another way: it’s outdated. With most records in the electronic realm now, you would think it wouldn’t be as large of a concern. The reality is the law hasn’t been changed by the state legislature, so it stands as it is.

This is when having an experienced lawyer comes in handy. Making sure you have someone on your side to interact with police and prosecutors can help with dismissal or a reduction in the sentence.

The case against field sobriety tests in cannabis-related DUI cases

18833634 - cop suspecting a man of drunk drivingOne of the biggest fallacies we hear from clients regarding cannabis-related DUI charges (driving under the influence) is the notion that a failed field sobriety test is a valid indicator of intoxication. The truth is, science can’t prove that such assessments are valid nor that the results are reliable. In fact, studies have shown that there’s such a mixed bag of results related to validity that researchers are at odds with it, meaning the threshold of proof cannot generally be met through these means alone. Can it get you arrested? Yes. Does it mean you will be convicted? No.

SFSTs explained

If an officer suspects that a driver is under the influence, a typical method for determining probable cause for arrest is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)-approved Standardized Field Sobriety Test, or SFST. The three-part test focuses on assessing reflexes and coordination. It consists of 1) standing on one leg, 2) walking and turning, and 3) evaluation of horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), which is the ability to follow an object with the eyes, along with possible abnormal dilation of the pupils. [PRO TIP: If an officer does any type of assessment that deviates from the NHTSA standards, those results and the administration alone can be argued as unreliable if it goes to court.]

While these standards and practices are used on a regular basis related to alcohol, there is dispute as to the validity and reliability when the alleged intoxication is related to cannabis. In fact, there is legal precedent and research indicating SFSTs and FSTs (non standard) cannot and do not accurately or appropriately measure a cannabis-intoxication level, and therefore, have no place in serving as probable cause for arrest.

Legal precedent and lack of validity

In 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, stated it saw no clear scientific, data-driven consensus as to whether or not FSTs are a reliable indicator of cannabis-related impairment. It determined that even if a Massachusetts officer performs FSTs, the officer is limited in how they can discuss the results in their testimony. They can indicate they performed an assessment, but they can’t state an opinion about what they saw.

Proponents of marijuana law reform are working to make the case that cannabis is different in the way it impacts the body’s psychomotor performance from other drugs, both legal and illegal. They point to research that shows “the risk of accident associated with cannabis-exposed drivers is lower than that of those exposed to other licit and illicit substances…” The study concludes that the influence of cannabis is “relatively subtle and short-lived” and that the “impact on psychomotor performance differs significantly from that of alcohol.” (AAA, An Evaluation of Data from Drivers Arrested for Driving Under the Influence in Relation to Per Se Limits for Cannabis, 2016)

Also of importance is the perspective on drug testing for the presence of possible intoxicants — namely THC or its metabolites. In a 2019 presentation at the 4th annual Marijuana Law Conference, the deputy director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, presented studies supporting the opinion that the effects of inhaled cannabis on psychomotor skills are “typically subtle,” resulting in “modest impairment,” and concluding that “the effects…on higher-level driving are minimal.” He opined that there’s no way to really know through testing using “per se thresholds” the recency of exposure to cannabis nor psychomotor impairment. (Armentano. 2015. Are THC concentrations appropriate for presuming psychomotor impairment? In. Tiftickjian. Medicolegal Aspects of Marijuana: Colorado Edition. Tucson: Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company.)

The NHTSA itself notes in its Drugs and Human Performance Facts Sheets that it is “…currently impossible to predict specific effects [of THC] based on metabolite concentrations.” A 2011 study also indicates that unlike drugs of other types, “[p]atients who take cannabinoids at a constant dosage over an extensive period of time often develop tolerance to the impairment of psychomotor performance, so that they can drive vehicles safely (e117).

Don’t go it alone

This is just the tip of the iceberg on the subject of cannabis and impairment. Just because you are given a sobriety test for any type of intoxication doesn’t mean you will be convicted of a crime. But you have to be willing to accept that you don’t know what you don’t know, and when it comes to the law you want the best in your corner. We know what matters in a courtroom, we know what doesn’t, and we know how to build a solid case to support you. You do NOT want to try to navigate a DUI arrest of any type without an experienced attorney in your corner. We are here for you: 1-800-NoCuffs.

What to remember if you are pulled over for a DUI

41318904 - portrait of a young scared man pulled over by policeWe know what your mind is likely going through when you see those flashing red-and-blue lights in your rearview mirror. It’s the same thing that likely goes through many people’s minds in that situation: what did I do to get pulled over?

Whether or not you feel as if you are genuinely driving impaired or if you have had zero to drink – and are being pulled over anyway – the nervousness and anxiety that may happen at any traffic stop is as understandable as it is nerve-racking.

There’s some practical advice to remember when you are being pulled over for a DUI, and knowing what was said to you as well as the circumstances of the traffic stop can go a long way to help you if you are arrested.

Document it all

It’s important to remember that while it may feel like slow-motion in your head, the actual process of a DUI arrest can happen very quickly. The entire flow of it – the stop itself, the field sobriety test, the arrest, the release from custody – can be mere hours. This is why it’s vital that you document as much as you can during the process.

Putting down your memories of the arrest in some way as soon as you can – maybe even via notes on your phone – will be helpful as you navigate the court system with your attorney.

There are seven key elements of the DUI to document, and most involve the interactions with the police officer who is involved. Here are those seven elements to remember:

  • What happened when you were pulled over,
  • What the police officer said to you,
  • What the police officer said about field sobriety tests, and how they were conducted,
  • What the police officer said about a preliminary alcohol screening test (breathalyzer),
  • What happened during the arrest, and transportation to the police station,
  • What the police officer said about providing a chemical breath test
  • How the officer conducted the chemical breath test.

Why this is important to you

Writing down your recollections around parts of the arrest process, can provide your attorney with facts to support defenses in either the criminal DUI case in court or at your hearing with the DMV for your license.

If the police officer who conducted the DUI stop made a mistake in some way during those seven points of that traffic stop, or if he or she took some shortcuts, it’s possible that your rights have been violated in some way. If that is the case, the evidence collected would not be admissible and your case could be dismissed.

There are many ways that we can help you defend not only against a DUI charge, but other criminal charges, and we can also help you navigate the system if you already have a DUI conviction if that takes place. Learn more at, or call us at 1-800-NoCuffs.

Sealed juvenile records vs. expungement

Pencil with eraser erasing parts of the word PAST, which is written in all capital letters in dark fontImagine this scenario—as a teenager, you were in the wrong place at the wrong time and ended up in trouble with the law related to possession of alcohol as a minor. You took the steps to have your records sealed and moved on with your life, assuming that no one would ever be privy to that information.

Your assumption is correct in one sense but not the other. While it is true that a standard background check for employment or college application won’t yield convictions that have been sealed, there are other situations where they can be “unsealed.”

Do not confuse records being sealed with being expunged—a whole other process. It’s important to understand the differences so you can pursue the course that helps you achieve your goals.

Sealing of juvenile records

In general, you can begin the process of having your records sealed once you are:

  • 18 years old
  • It has been five years since the case was closed, or
  • It has been five years since your last contact with probation and you are deemed rehabilitated by a judge.

You’ll need to contact your county to request the necessary forms. You must list each instance you want sealed. If all of your records are in the same county, it typically takes about 90 days to complete. If you have records in more than one county, it can take up to 180 days. In some instances, the request itself is sufficient for approval. In other cases, you may need to participate in a hearing. The courts will notify you if this is the case.

There are three instances that typically lead to denial of a request to seal juvenile records:

  • You are convicted of a serious offense (listed in Welfare and Institutions Code 707b) above the age of 14,
  • The record is for an adult conviction in a criminal case,
  • You are convicted as an adult for an offense of moral turpitude (these crimes involve sex or drugs, if they are violent, or in some way run afoul moral standards).

Earlier we mentioned that there are some times when a sealed record can be “unsealed” and the information is available to the requestor for a specific purpose. These include:

  • Insurance companies: Car insurance companies can view any records you had with the DMV
  • Federal institutions: The federal government can access your sealed records for military enlistment or security clearance positions
  • The court system: The courts may view your sealed records in the event that you are a witness in a defamation case, or to decide if you are qualified for extended foster care after age 18
  • Prosecution: Prosecutors can look into your records to see if you can be entered into a deferred entry of judgment program.

You can always request your own records to be unsealed at any time.


In California, expunged records are not removed in the sense that they just disappear. Instead, your records are updated to indicate that the charges were dismissed. This is an important differentiation—if your records have been expunged it is truthful to indicate “NO” on applications that ask if you have been CONVICTED of a crime.

According to California Penal Code 1203.4, you are eligible to apply for record expungement if you meet the following qualifications:

  • You were granted probation, completed all of its terms, and are no longer on probation
  • You have had no new arrests
  • Or, you have completed the terms of your probation and served at least half of the probationary term, and have had no new arrests

As with having records sealed, the decision is in the hands of the courts. Only with expungement, you’ll file a “Petition for Relief” form with the Superior Court of the county where you were convicted. There is a fee (which can be waived, if approved). It typically takes 8 -10 weeks after the court has received your application to come to a decision. If your conviction is a felony, a court hearing will be required as part of this process.

If you think you may be eligible for sealing of your juvenile records or expungement, you’ll want guidance from a seasoned attorney’s office. It may sound like simply filling out paperwork, but it’s in your best interest to talk through the options and processes to make sure your actions align with your end goals and that the process is done the right way.

We are here to help, day and night. Give us a call: 1-800-NoCuffs or visit our website for more information:

The pillars of a DUI prosecutor’s case

Drinking and driving concept. Car key on a wooden table, pub

You’ve been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. Now what?

First off, don’t panic. This is definitely easier said than done, but it’s important to keep your wits about you and not make a bad situation potentially worse by talking or acting out. Keeping a cool head will help on the legal side.

Focus on the following:
Document what happened. As soon as you have an opportunity, write down as many details as possible about what happened immediately before, during and after the event. Any details about what was said and done throughout are important, as they may help your attorney with defenses.

Don’t plead guilty. Just because you’ve been detained does not mean there is overwhelming evidence against you. You may feel pressured or even convinced that pleading guilty is the obvious solution, but do not make any decisions until you’ve consulted with an attorney who specializes in DUI cases. We’ve seen it all, from misdemeanors to felonies to multiple DUI arrests. This is no time to try and handle things on your own. Experts exist to help you navigate your situation, regardless of severity.

In DUI cases, the burden of proof falls on the prosecution. That means according to the law, a defendant should only be found guilty if the prosecution presents a 100% fact-driven case that has absolutely zero reasonable doubt.

Prosecutors tend to latch on to these four areas in DUI cases:
1- Physical signs and symptoms of being under the influence. You may have red eyes. You may have an odor. You are observed walking in an abnormal pattern. These are all subjective, based on the observations of the arresting officer(s).

2- Field sobriety test performance. Your balance may be off. You may be unsteady changing direction while walking. This doesn’t mean you are under the influence!

3- Driving pattern. Law enforcement authorities rely on 24 driving patterns identified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that may indicate the driver is intoxicated. These include swerving, weaving and driving without headlights at night. All 24 may have zero correlation to levels of intoxication and with reasonable explanations for their occurrence.

4- Chemical test results or refusal to take the test. Test results may be impacted by improper administration, medications, medical conditions and more. And refusal to take a test does not equate to guilt.
If any of these four pillars of a prosecutor’s case is knocked down or even loosened, the whole case either falls apart or is shaky, which means reasonable doubt.

The most common sense rule of all is to avoid driving under the influence at all. Drink responsibly. Always have a designated driver. But, if you find yourself in need of legal assistance related to DUI, give us a call at 1-800-NoCuffs.

Three reasons to fight a DUI charge

Car keys are in a glass

Have you ever been pulled over or arrested for a DUI? Driving under the is a serious charge which can affect your ability to get a job. Because a DUI will show up on a criminal background check, you may want to consider fighting your DUI charge. Even if the police haven’t made a mistake or you are technically in violation of the law, you may still be able to have your charges reduced, which looks better on your record and means lower fines and fewer penalties.

But, let’s take a look at three common reasons for fighting a DUI charge.

1. Police misconduct or mistake
Even if you were driving under the influence, your charges can be dismissed if law enforcement officers did not follow proper DUI protocol. For example, the DUI arrest report and court testimony must be accurate and truthful. There are also protocols that the police officer must follow in regards to field sobriety tests and how they are conducted. After your release, write down everything you can remember about your arrest. Even the little details can be important.

2. If no probable cause was stated If there was no valid reason to pull you over
In California, the arresting officer must have probable cause to arrest you for driving under the influence and To pull you over, they also must demonstrate reasonable suspicion to pull you over. You might be pulled over for failing to use a turn signal, not stopping at a light or driving with a malfunctioning tail light, as well as swerving in your lane or going the wrong way. They must be able to articulate specific facts as to why they stopped you. If a cop pulls you over for any of these reasons and you are not under the influence, you may receive a warning and be sent on your way. But if the officer sees you committing one of these acts, he or she will also be looking for probable cause for a DUI charge. Common causes include open containers in the car, red eyes, slurred words, fumbling for your license and insurance card, and the smell of alcohol or drugs in the car.

3.If your blood alcohol test doesn’t accurately reflect the amount of alcohol in your body
There are a number of reasons a BAC (blood alcohol content) test may be inaccurate. People with diets high in protein and low in carbs — like the Atkins diet — or people who have medical conditions like diabetes and hypoglycemia, can easily fail a sobriety breath test because their bodies naturally produce more isopropyl alcohol when the body turns to stored fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates. The time of the test matters, too. Alcohol can take between 15 minutes and two hours to fully absorb into your system. Therefore, if you take a test at the police station two hours after your last drink, it is possible your BAC level will be much higher than it was when you were actually driving.

We understand a DUI arrest can feel hopeless, but it’s not. While you can’t erase the past, that doesn’t mean you don’t have control of your future. Be sure to act fast and contact your DUI lawyer in less than 10 days from your arrest. Whether you’ve been arrested for a DUI or just have questions, we’re here to help.

Ignition Interlock Device Law Effective Date: January 1, 2019


Effective January 1, 2019, the Ignition Interlock Law will become effective California state-wide due to Senate Bill 1046 being signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. The new law will remain in effect until January 1, 2026.

In 2010, the pilot Ignition Interlock Device program became effective in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare Counties. This program required individuals whose driving privileges were suspended by the California Department of Motor Vehicles Mandatory Actions Unit because of a conviction in criminal court for driving under the influence of alcohol or driving with .08% or more of alcohol in his/her system (as a misdemeanor or a felony) to install an Ignition Interlock Device (hereafter “IID”) for a minimum of 6 months after being sentenced.  The pilot program’s findings showed that the installation of IIDs reduced the number of DUI incidents and those who re-offend (continue to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drive with a blood alcohol content or .08% or higher.)


What is an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)?

An IID is a breath machine which is connected to the starting-component of a vehicle.  For the vehicle to start, the driver must blow into the device. The device is installed on the vehicle’s steering column. The sample of air blown into the device is analyzed to ensure there is no alcohol in the breath sample.  If there is alcohol in the breath sample, the car will not start.

Once the car has started, the IID will require the driver to provide breath samples during the time the vehicle is turned on and moving by alerting the driver that he/she needs to blow into the machine and provide a breath sample.  The driver blows into the device while driving and does not need to pull over, stop, or turn off the car in order to provide a breath sample.

Breath samples are recorded and saved by the device.  The company responsible for maintaining and calibrating the IID will store all breath results of samples provided. A violation of the proper use of the device (i.e.: detection of alcohol in a breath sample, tampering, disabling the device) may result in the Department of Motor Vehicles terminating a person’s ability to have a restricted license with the IID and reinstate the mandatory suspension of a person’s driving privileges.


How much does the IID cost?

The monthly cost of having an IID in one’s vehicle depends on the make and model of one’s vehicle and includes the installation, maintenance/calibration every 2 months, and removal of the IID. It is approximately $75.00 per month to have an IID in one’s vehicle.


How Long Does a Person Need to have an IID?

The length of time a person needs to have an IID installed in his/her vehicle depends on the charge for which the person is convicted:


First DUI conviction within 10 years:

Without injuries:

6-month restricted license with an IID installed where one can drive anywhere he/she chooses, OR

1-year restricted license to only drive to and from work and an alcohol treatment program

With injuries:

6-month restricted license with an IID is required. There is no option to forgo installing the IID and having restricted driving privileges.


Second misdemeanor DUI conviction within 10 years:

IID required for one year


Third misdemeanor DUI conviction within 10 years:

IID required for two years


Fourth or subsequent DUI conviction within 10 years:

IID required for three years


How does this affect drivers in pilot counties?

In Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, or Tulare Counties, the new law will not result in any significant effect to drivers who are convicted of a DUI starting in 2019.

The main difference that the new law has created for all counties (including the pilot counties) is that a person, as of January 1, 2019, can have an IID installed in his/her vehicle after arrest to avoid any significant disruption in his/her ability to legally drive. If the IID is installed in the vehicle prior to it being mandated by the Department of Motor Vehicles, a person can receive credit for the total amount of time he/she has the IID in his/her vehicle so long as the driver obtains prior approval from the California DMV to obtain a restricted license.


We encourage anyone who is arrested for a DUI as of January 1, 2019 to take the following steps:

After Arrest:  Call 1-800-NoCuffs!

The police will take a person’s California Driver’s License away if a person’s blood or breath alcohol test is .08% or higher, or if a person refuses to submit to a chemical test. The police will give a person a temporary license which is on a pink sheet of paper and is only valid for 30 days from the date of arrest.


Minimizing the number of days a person’s license will be suspended (without the ability to drive at all):

  1. An insurance company must electronically file an SR-22 form with the DMV. An SR-22 is a form shows the DMV that a person is insured while driving a vehicle.
  2. Register for a DMV-approved alcohol education class. Proof of enrollment must be electronically sent to DMV.
  3. Install an Ignition Interlock Device in any car you own or operate. The IID company should provide you with proof of installation AND send electronically to the DMV proof of installation as well.
  4. Pay a license reissuance fee to the DMV once approved for a restricted license.


10-Day Rule Still Applies:

A person must still request an administrative per se hearing with the California DMV within 10 days from arrest in order to preserve your right to a hearing.


Upon a conviction of a DUI in court:

  1. A person can avoid a 30 day hard-suspension IF the steps above are followed.
  2. A person will receive credit for time you have had a restricted license with the IID if you obtained a restricted license before your conviction in court.


Exceptions to being immediately eligible for the installation of an IID:

Those who fall into one of the categories below will not be allowed to install an IID and obtain a restricted license if he/she receives a conviction in court for one of the items below and/or the DMV suspends a person’s driving privileges based on an Administrative Per Se Hearing:

  1. Refusing to submit to a chemical test when requested by a peace officer
    1. 1-year hard suspension/ no driving (if convicted in court and/or APS hearing is upheld)
  2. Commercial license holders (Class A or B)
    1. 1-year hard suspension/no driving (if convicted in court and/or APS hearing is upheld)
  3. Drivers under 21 (if convicted in court for a traffic infraction of having any measurable amount of alcohol in one’s system while driving and/or reckless driving with alcohol in one’s system, or misdemeanor DUI):
    1. 30 days hard suspension (no driving)
    2. One apply for a critical needs license after the first 30 days of no driving
    3. It is highly likely a person will be required to install the IID upon the DMV granting the application for a critical needs license.


Instead of installing an IID, may a person “sit out” during the suspension period? What if a person does not own a vehicle?

The Department of Motor Vehicles allows ONLY for 1st DUI offenders to “opt-out” of putting the IID in his/her vehicle; however, the first 30 days after a person is convictied of a DUI the person is unable to legally drive.  After that time, a person may obtain a restricted license for 11 months upon showing proof to the DMV enrollment in a DMV-approved alcohol education class, proof of insurance, and the payment of a license-reissuance fee. This type of restricted license allows a person to only drive to and from work and to and from a DMV-approved alcohol program.

On a 2nd DUI (or more) conviction, the law requires a to install the IID for the specified time frame (which is shown above). A person can request and be granted an exemption from installing the IID for not having a vehicle registered to him/her; however, he/she will not be legally able to drive any vehicle during that time frame.  The DMV will require the installation of the IID upon requesting a restricted license.


Driving a company vehicle

An individual may drive a company vehicle without the IID being installed; however, one must receive approval from the DMV. The Department of Motor Vehicles has a form which must be signed by the employer which indicates that the employer is aware of the employee’s restricted license status, and despite such, permits the person to drive the company vehicle. This does not avoid any requirement for an individual to install an IID on his/her personal vehicle.