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Los Angeles DUI and Restricted Licenses

Los Angeles DUI and Restricted Licenses

Los Angeles DUI and Restricted Licenses

After a DUI arrest, having your driver’s license suspended can severely impact your life and livelihood. For those whose jobs require driving, California offers restricted license options during a DUI suspension. Also known as hardship or occupational licenses, these allow limited driving for work purposes only.

Understanding how to obtain a restricted license after a Los Angeles DUI is crucial for maintaining employment. This guide provides an overview of California’s restricted licensing options, eligibility requirements, allowed usage, and how an experienced DUI lawyer can assist in the application process.

Overview of DUI License Suspensions in California

A DUI conviction results in mandatory suspension of your driving privileges. Suspension lengths depend on factors like[1]:

  • Number of prior DUI convictions
  • Whether you refused chemical BAC testing
  • Your age, for zero tolerance suspensions
  • Whether injuries occurred

A first DUI conviction typically carries a 6 month license suspension. Refusing testing adds a consecutive 1 year suspension. Further offenses lead to longer revocations of 1-5+ years.

The DMV also imposes immediate administrative suspensions prior to criminal conviction. These include 4-month suspensions for blowing 0.08% BAC or higher.

Occupational License Basics

An occupational or restricted license allows limited driving during a DUI suspension, solely for work purposes. You must submit an application to the DMV proving driving is essential for your job in order to qualify. If approved, you can only operate a vehicle:

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
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Brendan huisman
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Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
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Keisha Parris
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
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Loveth Okpedo
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
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divesh patel
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.
  • To and from your workplace
  • During specified work hours/days
  • Along approved work-related routes

Any non-work driving will lead to license revocation and criminal charges. Ignition interlocks are also required on vehicles.

Eligibility Requirements

To obtain an occupational license in California, you must[2]:

  • Have a valid California license
  • Show an essential need to drive for work
  • Provide proof of financial responsibility (SR-22 insurance)
  • Install an ignition interlock device (IID)
  • Pay license reissue fees
  • Not have any other license suspensions or revocations

You must provide documentation from your employer proving driving is necessary for your job. Self-employed individuals can provide tax documents demonstrating work-related vehicle use.

Occupational License Restrictions

California occupational licenses allow driving:

  • To and from your workplace
  • During your normal work hours and days
  • Along regular work-related routes

All other driving is prohibited. The DMV may specify approved destinations and roads you can use. Any deviations could lead to license revocation and criminal charges.

Maintaining Your Occupational License

To keep your restricted license privileges, you must[3]:

  • Drive only as permitted
  • Maintain SR-22 insurance
  • Properly use your ignition interlock device
  • Comply with DUI program requirements
  • Satisfy any court-ordered terms
  • Pay occupational license fees
  • Complete any other DMV requirements

Violating any conditions, even slightly, can result in immediate revocation of your restricted license. An experienced DUI lawyer helps ensure ongoing compliance.

Ignition Interlock Requirements

California requires an ignition interlock device (IID) to be installed on any vehicle you drive with an occupational license. Interlocks prevent your vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected on your breath. You must pay installation and monthly maintenance costs.

Strict rules apply to properly using interlocks, like regular breath tests and servicing. Even minor violations get reported to the DMV and can lead to revocation of restricted privileges.

Length of Occupational Licenses

Occupational licenses are issued for the length of your underlying DUI suspension term. For example, if you have a 6 month DUI suspension, your restricted license would be valid for the same 6 months. You must then reinstate your regular license before resuming normal driving.[4]

For longer revocations of 1 year or more, you may need to reapply for an extension of your occupational license if work driving remains essential.

Occupational License Application Process

Applying for an occupational license involves[5]:

  • Completing DMV form DL 410 OCC
  • Providing proof of work necessity from your employer
  • Filing SR-22 insurance documentation
  • Paying a $55 reissue fee plus any suspension fees
  • Having an IID installed and serviced
  • Following any other DMV instructions

The DMV reviews your application and documentation then issues a decision in writing. Restricted licenses are not guaranteed, so work closely with your DUI attorney throughout the occupational licensing process.

Waiting Periods for Occupational Licenses

The DMV imposes mandatory waiting periods before you can obtain an occupational license after a DUI suspension[6]. These are:

  • 30 days for first DUI offenses
  • 1 year for second DUI offenses
  • 18 months for third DUI offenses
  • 30 days after the end of a refusal suspension

You cannot apply for a restricted license during these mandatory waiting periods. An attorney helps track suspension dates and eligibility windows.

Out-of-State Licenses

Out-of-state residents suspended for a California DUI may apply for a California occupational license. However, your home state may not recognize it. Some states explicitly prohibit issuing occupational or hardship licenses for out-of-state offenses.

Consult with attorneys in both California and your home state to determine if an occupational license is an option after an out-of-state DUI.

Benefits of Obtaining a Restricted License

Applying for an occupational license has many benefits:

  • Allows you to maintain employment
  • Provides transportation for essential work duties
  • Demonstrates responsibility to the court
  • Prevents loss of income to support family
  • Keeps your insurance rates lower
  • Complies with state reinstatement requirements

Occupational licenses allow limited but vital driving privileges to those who depend on their vehicles for work.

Hiring an Attorney for Your Restricted License

Navigating the occupational licensing process requires legal guidance. A DUI lawyer assists by:

  • Determining eligibility based on your violation history
  • Collecting necessary documentation to support your application
  • Submitting paperwork and communicating with the DMV
  • Ensuring adherence to restricted license limitations
  • Helping maintain compliance with all program conditions
  • Applying for extensions if needed

Retaining legal counsel maximizes your chances of obtaining and keeping an occupational license after a DUI suspension.

The Importance of Restricted Licenses

In summary, occupational licenses provide vital limited driving privileges after a DUI suspension for those who need to operate vehicles for work. California offers these restricted licenses to eligible drivers, but the application process is complex.

Partnering with an experienced DUI lawyer simplifies the occupational licensing process and allows you to maintain employment and income during a suspension. Don’t delay in exploring restricted license options after a Los Angeles DUI.


[1] https://www.shouselaw.com/ca/dui/laws/
[2] https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/driver-education-and-safety/dmv-safety-guidelines-actions/driving-under-the-influence/s/license-suspensions-and-revocations/
[3] https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/how-to-get-a-restricted-license-after-a-dui-in-california
[4] https://www.shouselaw.com/ca/dui/laws/occupational-license/
[5] https://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/TR320.pdf
[6] https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=VEH&sectionNum=13352.

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