Typically, when you are charged with DUI in California, your driver’s license will be suspended. How long your license will remain suspended depends on the details of your DUI case. Usually, the determining factor is whether you refused to take a chemical test, or you submitted to a chemical test and you failed.

If you are suspected of DUI, a police officer may ask you to take a chemical breath or blood test. California has “implied consent,” meaning that simply by driving, you’ve already consented – by law, to take a chemical test if requested. If you refuse a chemical test, this is how driver’s license suspension works in California:

  • First offense: a one-year suspension
  • Second offense within ten years: a two-year suspension
  • Third (or subsequent) offense within ten years: a three-year suspension

If you failed a chemical test, the length of your driver’s license suspension will hinge on your age. If you were 21 or older when you failed the test, and the results show a 0.08 percent or higher blood alcohol content (BAC) level, driver’s license suspension works like this:

  • First offense: a four-month suspension
  • Second (or subsequent) offense within ten years: a one-year suspension

However, if you were under 21 when the test was conducted, and the results show a 0.01 percent or higher BAC level, your driver’s license is suspended for one year.

In California, you are required to submit to a chemical test if a law enforcement officer asks you to and believes you are driving under the influence. Choose the blood test; an experienced DUI defense attorney can challenge the results later. A good DUI defense lawyer may also challenge your driver’s license suspension and can provide the legal advice and representation you will need. If you’re charged with DUI in southern California – now or in the future – speak at once with an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.