Notice of Suspension/Temporary License
When you are arrested for driving under the influence the officer will most likely take possession of your driver's license. The officer should give you a Notice of Suspension and a temporary 30-day driver's license. If you take no action, your license will be suspended 30 days after your arrest, and, in most cases, will stay suspended until after your case is resolved. If you are arrested in Riverside County resolution of your case could take several months. If you want to avoid your license being suspended while you wait for your case to be heard in court you must act quickly.
DMV Administrative Review
After your arrest the officer will forward the Notice of Suspension and the police report to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV will begin an administrative review of your case. (It is important to remember that the DMV review/suspension is completely separate from the criminal proceeding which will follow.) If the officer's paperwork is in order and you do not request a hearing within 10 days then your license suspension will take effect 30 days after your arrest. The length of suspension depends on the charges alleged and whether or not you have any prior convictions for driving under the influence.
You may challenge your license suspension by requesting a DMV Administrative Per Se Hearing. You must request a DMV Hearing within 10 days of your arrest. If you do not act within 10 days then you waive your right to fight the suspension. It is important to be represented by an attorney at your DMV hearing as they often involve complicated rules of evidence and interpretation of scientific tests.
The police report will be forwarded to the District Attorney's Office. The DA's Office will decide whether or not to file charges and what charges should be filed. The charges filed depend on your blood alcohol content, the circumstances of your arrest, and whether or not you have been previously convicted of a DUI. You may be charged with one or more of the following violations:
Vehicle Code Section 23152(a)
Prohibits a person under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or their combined influence from driving a vehicle. Vehicle Code section 23152(a) makes it illegal to drive when you have any foreign substance in your system that negatively effects your driving. This section applies to driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence of marijuana, driving under the influence of a controlled substance, or driving under the influence of prescription medication. There is no minimum amount of alcohol or drugs that need to be present in your blood to be charged with a violation of Vehicle Code section 23152(a).
Vehicle Code Section 23152(b)
Prohibits a person with 0.08% or more of alcohol in his or her blood from driving a vehicle. Vehicle Code section applies only to alcohol-related DUIs. If your blood alcohol content is 0.08% or greater, under this law you are presumed to be under the influence of alcohol, regardless of the outward symptoms you may or may not present. If you are charged with violating Vehicle Code section 23152(b) you will most likely also be charged with violating Vehicle Code section 23152(a).
More Serious Charges
If you have previously been convicted of a DUI, were involved in an accident, were speeding, had a child in the car, or if you had a high blood alcohol content, then the District Attorney may file additional charges or enhancements. These can lead to higher fines, longer license suspensions, and possibly jail time.