If you are arrested for driving under the influence in California, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) automatically suspends your driver’s license unless you contact – within 10 days – your local DMV Office and request a license suspension hearing. To have any chance of keeping your California driver’s license – and before you do anything else – it’s imperative to obtain immediate help from an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney. Recently, it became even harder to keep your license after a DWI arrest. In a case out of Orange County, the California Supreme Court ruled in April that during a license suspension procedure, the DMV may consider circumstantial evidence – like reckless driving or poor performance on a field sobriety test – to “prove” a driver’s blood-alcohol content was above the legal limit.

The California Supreme Court ruling is the result of a case that began in Orange County back in 2011 when Ashley Jourdan Coffey was arrested on suspicion of DWI after a police officer spotted her swerving in traffic. A toxicologist testified to the DMV that Coffey’s blood-alcohol level was rising at the time she was tested for DUI and was below 0.08 percent when she was pulled over. A DMV hearing officer rejected the toxicology testimony and decided to suspend Coffey’s license based on the arresting officer’s testimony. Coffey appealed, but a trial court and an appellate court ruled in favor of the DMV, and now the California Supreme Court has also upheld the ruling.

Observers believe that more licenses will be suspended as a result of the court’s decision. If you are charged with DWI in southern California, you’ll need a knowledgeable DWI attorney to arrange a DMV hearing and represent you before the DMV. You’ll also need an attorney to handle your criminal DUI case. Don’t wait. Contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney immediately after a DWI arrest anywhere in southern California.