DUI - CREATE A LEGAL STRATEGY, BE INFORMED

Being charged with a DUI can be an incredibly scary ordeal. Cassandra Hearn understands the seriousness of your charges and takes a twofold approach to alleviating some of the fear: first, by representing you with unparalleled experience in DUI laws; and then, by providing some educational tools for your benefit.

While the information below should not be deemed a suitable substitute for expert legal advice, it may offer deeper insight into your present situation. Call Cassandra Hearn today.

CALIFORNIA DUI LAWS

In San Diego, drivers arrested for alcohol-related DUIs typically can expect to see at least two criminal charges alleged against them.  Even though a driver may have been doing what seems like one act (driving), the government gets to allege two different charges. 

California-DUI-Laws-San-Diego.jpg

The first charge, VC 23152(a) is for driving while “Under the Influence.”

The second charge, VC 23152(b) is for driving at a .08% or greater blood alcohol content.

Since the prosecutor usually gets two bites at the apple, you should hire a DUI defense attorney who knows how to best defend you on every angle in the case.  Who would be a better attorney than a former prosecutor who knows exactly where those bites will be coming from?

Hire Cassandra Hearn today. 

The following California code sections could be charged in your case.  Each and every case is different, just like every driver on the road is different.  Feel free to read these code sections, but remember, only a skilled DUI attorney can thoroughly analyze your specific case and apply the law as charged against you.  Even though the code is written in black and white, you might have a hidden defense that could break the prosecution.  

VC 23152(a) and (b)

(a) It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence

of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.

(b) It is unlawful for any person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.

VC 23153(a) and (b)

(a) It is unlawful for any person, while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.

(b) It is unlawful for any person, while having 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.

CAUSE FOR A DUI STOP

California officers are trained to search for drivers on the road who may be impaired.  No matter what their agency, be it SDPD, CHP, SDSO, SDHP, or any other police-power branch of government, these officers are on the look-out.  Why?  Because Californian’s don’t like drunk drivers.  First and foremost, driving drunk is dangerous to the community.  Right behind that, however, is the fact that DUI arrests and prosecution generate substantial sums of money for the state and our local government. 

When a California officer makes a traffic stop on your vehicle, there are a number of rules the officer must follow.  First, the officer must have had “reasonable suspicion” to stop you in the first place.  Once the officer makes contact with you, he or she will be looking for clues to determine if you are “Under the Influence.”  If the officer decides to begin a DUI investigation, the officer must be able to explain why he began the investigation.  Finally, the officer must determine if he or she has sufficient evidence or enough “probable cause” to arrest you for DUI.

CLUES

Law enforcement officers who are on the look-out for DUI drivers are entitled to use one or any number of clues to make a stop on your vehicle.  For example, an officer might witness a driver weaving, swerving, drifting, and crossing over painted road lines--this would be enough to make a stop.  On the other hand, an officer might see a driver that has a headlight out--this too would be sufficient to make a stop.  In fact, it is possible to drive “like a sober person” and still be arrested for DUI.  

OBSERVATIONS

Once an officer makes contact with a driver, he or she will begin to make initial observations about the driver’s demeanor.  The officer will be looking for clues of impairment such as: red and watery eyes, the smell of alcohol, mumbled or slurred speech, and loss of fine motor skills like fumbling with a wallet or license.  The officer might also ask some straight forward questions like: “Have you had any alcoholic beverages,” “How many,” “What kind,”  “When was your first drink,” “When was your last drink,” “When did you eat,” “What did you eat,” “Where are you coming from,” and “Where are you going?”  Each of these questions is designed to give the officer clues for a potential DUI arrest (the officer is fishing for a “Drinking Pattern”), and each answer to these questions will likely be used in court against the driver.

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If you find yourself in a situation where you have been stopped on the road and an officer is asking you questions about drinking or alcohol, you should politely and respectfully decline to answer.  The officer is not attempting to be friendly by making small talk.  Know that the answers you give (no matter how good you think your answer is) will likely be used in court against you.

An officer might ask you to complete field sobriety tests (FSTs).  Click here to learn about Field Sobriety Tests

CHEMICAL TESTS

California law requires that a person arrested for DUI submit a chemical test.  The law is called “Implied Consent.” The chemical test you provide will be a test that is compliant with Title 17 regulations.  This means that the officer will have you successfully complete either: blood, breath, or urine testing.

Blood test:  In most cases, blood is drawn from your arm.  The blood is then impounded and tested by the arresting agency.

Breath test: This test uses an Intoxilyzer.  This is a breath machine with a keyboard, hose, and mouthpiece attached to it.  Most often, the breath test is given at the sally port of the police station or at the booking location.  In San Diego, some officers (primarily CHP officers) have Intoxilyzers mounted into the trunk of the patrol vehicle, and can give you a chemical breath test at the site of where you were stopped. 

*Note: There is a big difference between the Intoxilyzer machine (which is a chemical test) and a PAS, or “breathalyzer.” The PAS device is a voluntary test that is part of Field Sobriety Tests.  The PAS test is not a chemical test, and is not required--in fact, you should politely decline to take it.  The PAS device looks like a large palm pilot, or old-fashioned cell phone.  It does not have a keyboard, nor a hose.  Remember you must only take a chemical test.

Urine test: This test is least frequently offered in San Diego.  An officer might give you the option of a urine test if the officer suspects drugs are in your system.  This test is given in the restroom under the supervision of an officer.  

OBSERVATIONS

Since a chemical test is required in California, individuals who refuse to take the chemical test will be further penalized.  If you refuse, your license will incur substantial penalties, and you will be additionally penalized in your criminal case.  A refusal will land you strapped down to a “maximum restraint” chair where blood will be forcefully drawn from your arm.  This is not a winning situation for you.   

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

You must submit to a chemical test.  In San Diego, your primary choices for an alcohol related DUI are to successfully complete either blood or breath.  If you are arrested for a DUI, submit to the chemical test.  Save whatever fight you have for the courtroom, not the sally port.  

CONVICTION PROGRAMS

Drunk driving or DUI cases are referred to the Substance Abuse Assessment Unit (SAAU) for evaluation and referral to the appropriate DUI program, MADD Impact Panel, and treatment program if necessary.

DUI schools in San Diego County:

  1. East County ACCORD
    1136 Broadway, Suit 10
    El Cajon, CA 92021
    619-562-5850

  2. MAAC Project DUIP
    1355 Third Ave.
    Chula Vista, CA 91911
    619-409-1780

  3. Occupational Health Services
    1637 Capalina Rd.
    San Marcos, CA 92069
    760-891-1500

  4. Central District DUIP
    9245 Sky Park Ct.
    San Diego, CA 92123
    619-467-6810

Enrolling in the DUI school:

You can enroll via the DMV Admin Per Se procedure prior to your court hearing.

You can enroll after the court hearing with the appropriate referral from the court and SAAU.

DMV SUSPENSIONS AND HEARINGS

In most cases, when an officer arrests a person for DUI, the officer will confiscate the driver’s California Class C license.  Losing the right to drive can be very frustrating (particularly in San Diego where public transportation leaves much to be desired).  The officer provides the driver with a pink-colored form that gives: the driver notice of an immediate license suspension, a temporary license that is good for 30 days, and a brief description of the law regarding the license. *Note that drivers will not get a temporary license if the driver’s license was already suspended at the time of the DUI.  Drivers who are already suspended should not drive at all until their license is cleared.* 

California drivers arrested for DUI have exactly 10 days from the date of arrest to request an administrative DMV hearing.  This is a hearing where a DMV employee will act as a judge and jury in the review of your DUI arrest.  Preserving your right to this hearing is important because your license is at stake.  If the DMV is not notified of a driver’s request for a hearing within 10 days, the DMV will automatically suspend the license for at least four months.  The hearing is governed by different rules than those seen in a real courtroom--that is why it is important to hire a DUI defense attorney who knows how to protect and preserve your rights.  Hire Cassandra Hearn to fight your DMV license battle.

Click here to learn more from the DMV about the actions the DMV will take against your license.

Click here to see San Diego DMV locations.

DRUG AND MARIJUANA DUIs

California drivers arrested for drug and marijuana DUIs will typically be charged with what is called the “A Count.”  If alcohol is not present in a driver’s system, then the prosecutor cannot allege that the driver had a .08% or greater blood alcohol content(meaning that the “B Count,” or VC 23152(b), is not charged).  This could mean better news for a driver if the driver is facing a single-count complaint.        

Drug and marijuana DUIs in San Diego are more difficult for the prosecution to prove because, quite frankly, the science just isn’t there yet.  Scientific studies are lacking in the area of drug DUI research, and most experts will fall short on the details that support their scientific conclusions during their testimony on the witness stand.  The same is true for prescription drug DUIs including Ambien, Zoloft, and other central nervous system depressant-related drugs. 

Marijuana_97598912.jpg

Expert testimony aside, the prosecutors will still try to get a conviction on a drug DUI.  Prosecutors will be looking for circumstantial evidence of DUI including “bad driving.”  A prosecutor might try to pin his or her case on the officer’s observations of driving, rather than relying solely on the presence of drugs in a driver’s system.  Whatever the prosecutor’s angle is in your case, you need a quality defense attorney who knows how the prosecution works.  Hire Cassandra Hearn to fight your DUI battle. 

DUI BAIL INFORMATION

In San Diego, drivers arrested and booked for DUI at both the misdemeanor and felony levels must make bail to be released.  Alternatively, drivers can wait to be seen by a magistrate (either a judge or commissioner) and request to be released on their “own recognizance” (OR). 

The local San Diego bail schedule for misdemeanor DUI without injury is as follows:

First offense:  $2,500
Second offense: $10,000 
Third offense: $15,000
In some circumstances the jail deputy might inadvertently assign a lower bail if the deputy does not notice the existence of a driver’s prior convictions.  Do not assume this means the driver got a lucky bail break.  Instead, be prepared for a prosecutor to argue-up your bail at arraignment or any court date before the end of the case.

BailBonds_128788907.jpg

FINDING A LOVED ONE

If you would like to see who is in jail, you can use the San Diego Sheriff’s inmate detail to find out the status of your loved one.  Click here to search by name.   

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If you need to post bail, you can do it in cash or you can find a bail bondsman who will post it for you.  Be prepared to pay the bondsman a non-refundable 10% of the bail fee.

DUI DEFENSES

Just as each driver is a unique person, each DUI case comes about in a unique way.  If you have been arrested for DUI, there are many avenues to explore for a possible defense in your case.  Consult with Cassandra Hearn to determine which defense is your best defense given your own personal situation.  Below is a sample list of considerations in formulating a winning defense:  

Driving Issue

Were you even driving your car?  Perhaps you were stopped on the side of the road when the officer approached your vehicle.  Maybe you drove at some point, but were you DUI at the time?  Did the officer see you drive?  If the officer didn’t see it, did a civilian?  If a civilian saw it, will the government be able to locate that civilian witness?  If nobody saw you drive, how will the prosecution prove the essential element of driving?

Probable Cause

Did the officer follow the law when he or she pulled you over?  An officer cannot stop you without cause to believe you broke the law in some fashion.  Do the officer’s observations add up? 

Bad Search

Did the officer follow the law when he or she arrested you?  The officer must be able to articulate the reasons for the stop and the reasons for arresting you.  If the officer illegally searched then arrested you, it is possible that all the evidence in your case could be excluded.

Bad Cop

Is the officer who stopped you a known “bad cop?”  Meaning, does this officer have a past that would make a jury question his or her testimony?    

Bad Procedure

Did the officer deviate from SDPD, CHP, SDSO, or SDHP guidelines for DUI investigation?  Officers are not entitled to put on a circus show at the side of the road--was the officer’s actions within department protocol?  Did the officer follow NHTSA guidelines?   

Evidence Contradicts the Officer

The officer might observe conflicting “symptoms.”  Perhaps the incident was taped with the new MVARS system.  Does the officer’s statement match the tape?  Does the officer’s timeline add up?    

Rising Blood Alcohol Level (BAC)

Was your blood alcohol actually going up as you waited on the side of the road?  Is it possible that your BAC was lower at the time of driving than when you completed the chemical test?      

Good reasons for your “symptoms”

Were you tired when you were driving?  Are you diabetic?  Have you had a recent emotional upset?     

DUI ELECTRONIC MONITORING

Some drivers in San Diego who are convicted of DUI may be able to avoid jail time with a sentencing alternative called electronic monitoring.  While it is rare that the court will impose this condition, with the right circumstances, and with agreement by the prosecution, this option can be explored.  Electronic monitoring is also called “house arrest.” It requires that the driver wear an electronic ankle or wrist bracelet that monitors the individual’s location. 

The local program for electronic monitoring is called SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor).  The driver who is sentenced to electronic monitoring bears the burden of paying for the program.  Individuals who participate in SCRAM are generally allowed to continue to do their daily activities with additional restrictions and violation of those restrictions can lead to termination of the program followed by jail time.

DUI PENALTIES AND ENHANCEMENTS

On top of a “standard” DUI, some drivers can be charged with additional penalties and enhancements.  These additional charges are specific to the facts and circumstances surrounding the driving and driver’s history.   The following California code sections could be an issue in your case.  Your specific situation will dictate which penalties or enhancements will apply to your case.  Feel free to read these code sections, but remember, only a skilled DUI attorney can thoroughly analyze your case and apply the law as charged against you.  There may be a unique defense or strategy that could help alleviate any additional penalties or enhancements that have been charged.  

VC 23572 DUI Child Endangerment

(a) If any person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 and a minor under 14 years of age was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the offense, the court shall impose the following penalties in addition to any other penalty prescribed:

  1. (1) If the person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 punishable under Section 23536, the punishment shall be enhanced by an imprisonment of 48 continuous hours in the county jail, whether or not probation is granted, no part of which shall be stayed.

  2. (2) If a person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 punishable under Section 23540, the punishment shall be enhanced by an imprisonment of 10 days in the county jail, whether or not probation is granted, no part of which may be stayed.

  3. (3) If a person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 punishable under Section 23546, the punishment shall be enhanced by an imprisonment of 30 days in the county jail, whether or not probation is granted, no part of which may be stayed.

  4. (4) If a person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 which is punished as a misdemeanor under Section 23550, the punishment shall be enhanced by an imprisonment of 90 days in the county jail, whether or not probation is granted, no part of which may be stayed.

VC 23577 DUI Chemical Test Refusal

(a) If any person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153, and at the time of the arrest leading to that conviction that person willfully refused a peace officer's request to submit to, or willfully failed to complete, the chemical test or tests pursuant to Section 23612, the court shall impose the following penalties:

 

  1. (1) If the person is convicted of a first violation of Section 23152, notwithstanding any other provision of subdivision (a) of Section 23538, the terms and conditions of probation shall include the conditions in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 23538.

  2. (2) If the person is convicted of a first violation of Section 23153, the punishment shall be enhanced by an imprisonment of 48 continuous hours in the county jail, whether or not probation is granted and no part of which may be stayed, unless the person is sentenced to, and incarcerated in, the state prison and the execution of that sentence is not stayed.

  3. (3) If the person is convicted of a second violation of Section 23152, punishable under Section 23540, or a second violation of Section 23153, punishable under Section 23560, the punishment shall be enhanced by an imprisonment of 96 hours in the county jail, whether or not probation is granted and no part of which may be stayed, unless the person is sentenced to, and incarcerated in, the state prison and execution of that sentence is not stayed.

  4. (4) If the person is convicted of a third violation of Section 23152, punishable under Section 23546, the punishment shall be enhanced by an imprisonment of 10 days in the county jail, whether or not probation is granted and no part of which may be stayed.

  5. (5) If the person is convicted of a fourth or subsequent violation of Section 23152, punishable under Section 23550 or 23550.5, the punishment shall be enhanced by imprisonment of 18 days in the county jail, whether or not probation is granted and no part of which may be stayed.

VC 23582 Speeding Additional Penalty

(a) Any person who drives a vehicle 30 or more miles per hour over the maximum, prima facie, or posted speed limit on a freeway, or 20 or more miles per hour over the maximum, prima facie, or posted speed limit on any other street or highway, and in a manner prohibited by Section 23103 during the commission of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153 shall, in addition to the punishment prescribed for that person upon conviction of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153, be punished by an additional and consecutive term of 60 days in the county jail.

(b) If the court grants probation or suspends the execution of sentence, it shall require as a condition of probation or suspension that the defendant serve 60 days in the county jail, in addition and consecutive to any other sentence prescribed by this chapter.

(c) On a first conviction under this section, the court shall order the driver to participate in, and successfully complete, an alcohol or drug education and counseling program, or both an alcohol and a drug education and counseling program. Except in unusual cases where the interests of justice would be served, a finding making this section applicable to a defendant shall not be stricken pursuant to Section 1385 of the Penal Code or any other provision of law. If the court decides not to impose the additional and consecutive term, it shall specify on the court record the reasons for that order.

(d) The additional term provided in this section shall not be imposed unless the facts of driving in a manner prohibited by Section 23103 and driving the vehicle 30 or more miles per hour over the maximum, prima facie, or posted speed limit on a freeway, or 20 or more miles per hour over the maximum, prima facie, or posted speed limit on any other street or highway, are charged in the accusatory pleading and admitted or found to be true by the trier of fact. A finding of driving in that manner shall be based on facts in addition to the fact that the defendant was driving while under the influence of alcohol, any drug, or both, or with a specified percentage of alcohol in the blood.

DUI PROBATION

In downtown San Diego, the judge or commissioner who does sentencing will likely follow the Judge’s Bench Guide.  For most DUI drivers, this will mean informal misdemeanor probation with the following standard terms:

First time DUI without Injury:

  1. Five years of Summary Probation

  2. Violate No Laws

  3. Over $2,000 fine

  4. $100 Suspended Probation Revocation Fee

  5. A number of days of Public Work Service depending on the blood alcohol concentration

  6. Standard Alcohol Conditions:
    Do not drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in your blood
    Submit to any test at the request of a peace officer for detection of alcohol and drugs
    Violate no laws regarding driving a motor vehicle while under the influence or in the possession of alcohol or drugs
    Do not drive without a valid license and proof of insurance

  7. First Conviction Program

  8. MADD Impact Panel

  9. License suspension/restriction to be addressed by DMV

  10. One year license suspension if the driver was under 21 at the time of driving

  11. Surrender license

  12. Referral to Substance Abuse Assessment Unit for evaluation and referral to a DUI program

  13. VC 23593 advisal

  14. “Heightened consideration” for IID if blood alcohol content is over .15%

Second time DUI without Injury:

  1. Five years of Summary Probation

  2. Violate No Laws

  3. Mandatory 96 Hours of Custody

  4. Over $2,000 fine

  5. $100 Suspended Probation Revocation Fee

  6. A number of days of Public Work Service depending on the blood alcohol concentration

  7. Standard Alcohol Conditions
    Do not drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in your blood
    Submit to any test at the request of a peace officer for detection of alcohol and drugs
    Violate no laws regarding driving a motor vehicle while under the influence or in the possession of alcohol or drugs
    Do not drive without a valid license and proof of insurance

  8. Multiple Conviction Program

  9. MADD Impact Panel

  10. License suspension/restriction to be addressed by DMV

  11. One year license suspension if the driver was under 21 at the time of driving

  12. Surrender license

  13. Referral to Substance Abuse Assessment Unit for evaluation and referral to a DUI program

  14. 1 to 30 day Vehicle Impound

  15. VC 23593 advisal 

Third time DUI without Injury:

  1. Five years of Summary Probation

  2. Violate No Laws

  3. Mandatory 120 Days of Custody

  4. Over $2,000 fine

  5. $100 Suspended Probation Revocation Fee

  6. A number of days of Public Work Service depending on the blood alcohol concentration

  7. Standard Alcohol Conditions
    Do not drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in your blood
    Submit to any test at the request of a peace officer for detection of alcohol and drugs
    Violate no laws regarding driving a motor vehicle while under the influence or in the possession of alcohol or drugs
    Do not drive without a valid license and proof of insurance

  8. Multiple Conviction Program

  9. MADD Impact Panel

  10. DMV will revoke license for 3 years

  11. One year license suspension if the driver was under 21 at the time of driving

  12. Surrender license

  13. Referral to Substance Abuse Assessment Unit for evaluation and referral to a DUI program

  14. 1 to 90 day Vehicle Impound

  15. Mandatory Designation as an “Habitual Traffic Offender” for 3 Years

  16. VC 23593 advisal 

  17. Consider IID

FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS

California officers are trained to search for clues of drunk driving.  When an officer stops a driver, the officer can use a number of tools in his or her arsenal to gather evidence that a driver is “drunk driving.”  These set of tools are called Field Sobriety Tests.  Every police agency across the state has it’s preferred set of Field Sobriety Tests.  This might conjure up images in your mind from TV shows where a driver has to touch their nose with closed eyes, or wobble down a narrowly drawn line, or even do some fancy dance step. For what it’s worth, these tests are standardized by the government.  While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has selected and blessed a set number of Field Sobriety Tests, your local officer might choose a test within his or her discretion depending on the setting.  What I mean is, an officer could request that you do a test that differs from a standardized test if it would not be safe to perform a standardized test from your location.  Standardized or not, if an officer requests or suggests that you do field sobriety tests, you should politely and respectfully decline.  

INDIVIDUAL TESTS

There are many tests that you can read and learn about, but I’m only going to highlight a few of the local SDPDSDSO, and CHP favorites here.

  1. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: Track the officer’s finger or pen with your eyes

  2.  Rhomberg:  Standing head tilt with your eyes closed for 30 seconds

  3. One Leg Stand:  Standing on one leg balanced for 30 seconds

  4. Walk and Turn:  Walk 9 steps heel-to-toe, turn, then 9 steps back heel-to-toe

  5. Backwards Count:  Count backwards from 75 to 55

  6. Alphabet:  Say the alphabet without singing or rhyming

  7. Finger Count:  Touch the tips of your fingers together, one by one, as you count aloud

  8. PAS:  Breath into a hand-held device for an instant alcohol reading

OBSERVATIONS

These tests are almost impossible to perform with out error--even when sober.  The point of these Field Sobriety Tests is not to see if a driver can perform the tests with 100% accuracy.  Instead, the tests focus on a driver’s ability (or lack thereof) to follow directions and perform simple functions.  So, even if an officer hears a driver say the alphabet correctly, the officer could be focusing on the fact that the driver swayed while doing it, or started too soon, or asked to have the instruction repeated a number of times.  The simple fact is, you don’t know what the officer is going to observe, so it is best to say “No” to Field Sobriety Tests.    

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If you find yourself in a situation where you have been stopped on the road and an officer is asking you to perform Field Sobriety Tests, you should politely and respectfully decline.  You are not required to do ANY Field Sobriety Tests.  Do not perform these tests because you think you can pass.  Do not perform these tests with the intention of being cooperative with the officer.  Do not perform these tests because you think it will get you out of a DUI arrest.  Your performance on these tests is an officer’s way of gathering evidence against you, and your performance will likely be used in court against you.

An officer might ask you to complete a chemical test.  Click here to learn about Chemical Teats.

IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE (IID)

IID_130472357.jpg

The IID is a device that monitors a driver’s alcohol content periodically. The DMV is required under the law to impose an IID restriction on the driving privilege of a person convicted of driving when suspended or revoked for a DUI conviction. In addition, it is required that drivers convicted of two or more DUI offenses within ten years have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicles. The court can also order an IID install.  Some courts will also order the installation of the device in CA drunk-driving cases in which the DUI offender had a blood-alcohol content level of .10% or more.  If a driver fails to comply with a court-ordered IID restriction, the court will notify DMV and the driver’s driving privilege will be suspended until the driver complies with the court order.

Click here for DMV terms for IID

MADD PANEL

If you are sentenced to a DUI in San Diego, one of your terms will likely be to attend a MADD victim impact panel.  The panel lasts for about one hour, and typically consists of members of our community who speak about how drunk driving has affected their lives.  The panel presentation can be a real eye-opener about the dangers of drunk driving. 

The fee is typically $20.00.  You must sign-in when you arrive.  You must bring a photo ID, your case number, and the date by which you must complete the MADD panel.  You can bring a visitor with you only if there is enough seating space.

Click here to see the local San Diego MADD Panel schedule.

OUT OF STATE DRIVERS

Licensing Issues

If you are arrested for DUI in San Diego, but your license was issued by a state other than California, the police cannot take away your driver’s license.  However, that does not mean you can simply ignore your DUI charge.  Even if you are licensed in another state, the California DMV will suspend you in California--this will likely be reported back to your licensing state through the Interstate Driver’s License Compact (IDLC) unless your issuing state is Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, Wisconsin, or Wyoming.

Since the IDLC reports back to a driver’s home state, drivers who are arrested for DUI in California can suffer suspension or revocation of their driving privileges in their home state.  Some states will apply the same penalties as California, others will  enhance any penalties and fines imposed by the DMV and California courts.   Some states do not recognize a California DUI conviction or suspension unless it meets the same terms as a DUI in that home state.  If you live in another state, but get a DUI in San Diego, you should speak with your attorney about licensing consequences in your home state.    

Moving to Another State

If you currently have an SR-22 and move to another state, you must maintain the SR-22 as though you still live in California.  Also, your insurance policy for your new state must have liability minimums as required by law in California.  This applies even if you move to a state that does not have SR-22 insurance, such as: Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

REHAB

In some rare circumstances, a substance abuse treatment program (in or out-patient) may be ordered as part of sentencing.  This occurs when an individual has displayed symptoms of alcohol abuse through either their actions in a case or through their past alcohol-related convictions.  Sometimes, a DUI arrest can be the “awakening” event that makes a person realize they need help controlling or stopping their alcohol consumption.  

Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator

SR-22

An SR-22 is proof you have at least the minimum level of auto insurance coverage.  This form is normally sent electronically by your insurance company to the DMV.  The SR-22 is typically required by the DMV for three continuous years from the date the four-month driving suspension ended.  If your policy lapses for any reason during this time, the insurance carrier is REQUIRED to notify the DMV.  Failure to get your insurance re-instated could result in yet another license suspension. 

Insurance_175074179.jpg

An SR-22 is required if:

  1. You were arrested for DUI,

  2. Your license is suspended or restricted,

  3. You are required to complete a DUI program and/or,

  4. You want to get a restricted license.

To get a restricted license after suspension or being convicted in court:

  1. Pay a re-issue fee of $125.00,

  2. Show proof of insurance (SR-22),

  3. Show proof of enrollment in a DMV-approved DUI program.


Logo_All Black_Small.png

CONTACT

Law Offices of Cassandra Hearn
2169 1st Ave 
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 800-0384