How to get your Driver’s License Back


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How to get your Driver’s License Back

How to get your Driver’s License Back

How to Get Your Drivers License Back

If your driver’s license is suspended for any reason, then you need to know how to get your driver’s license back.  The process is a little different depending on why your license was suspended.

In order to be suspended, one of the following things must have happened to suspend your California Driver’s License:

  1. You didn’t pay something.  This could be child support, or a fine to the court, or the DMV.
  2. Your license expired. (This is the easiest to fix).
  3. Something happened to you.  That could be a seizure or other medical problem that makes you unsafe to drive, or it could be an arrest for DUI. 
  4. You didn’t show up in court.  This will always, for driving offenses, suspend your driver’s license, as there is a warrant out for your arrest. 

Lets look more closely at each of these problems, what caused them, and what the remedy is.

1: You didn’t pay something.

This means that you didn’t make a payment, or skipped making payments, for one of the following:

  • Court fines.  The solution here is to go into court, recall any warrants, and pay off the fines or get back on a payment plan. You may need to see a judge.  The photograph above is from the Orange County Superior Court’s amnesty program, which ended in April, 2017, but which waived past due fees for those that got their account current immediately for certain cases.
  • DMV fees.  The solution here is to pay the DMV fees.  The DMV doesn’t take payments.
  • Child Support.  The family law court can hear your petition to change child support, and can lift a lien on child support if you make a few good faith payments.  If your financial situation has changed, you can also get a retroactive order changing the past due amount, or challenge child support wrongfully ordered.  Once fixed with the family law court, they notify the DMV to lift the lien (by having the court clerk issue an electronic “abstract”, which clears your record with the DMV and makes it cleared up for you to have a license issued again.

2.  Your license expired.

If your license expired, you need to pay the renewal fee.  Depending on your driving record, and how long you’ve had your license, you may need to take a vision test, or a driving test, during renewal.  Once you’re renewed, you’re good to go.

3.  Something Happened to You.

This title is intentionally vague, but that is because it covers so many options.  The DMV will suspend your license for any of the following reasons:

Medical Suspension:  The best strategy here is to request a DMV examination appointment, and have a doctor perform a quality, thorough examination and fill out the DMV’s medical evaluation form.  With evidence that the medical problem is resolved, or is unlikely to continue, the DMV can reissue the license and eliminate the hold.

You have a DUI:  The solution is to first get a restricted license, and then reinstate your license in full.  This means you must pay the re-issuance fee, enroll in an alcohol school, and show you have insurance, through an SR-22.  That will get you a restricted license after one month, if it’s a first time DUI.  If it’s a second time DUI, you can get a license after 90 days if you add an IID, or wait one year and get a restricted license for the remainder of your suspension. As the top DUI Lawyer in Orange County, we can definitely help you with this part.

You are a negligent operator:  The DMV allows you to have four points in one year, six points in two years, and eight points in three years.  Anything above that will suspend your license.  You can wait until any of those points drops off your record, timing wise, or you can request a hearing with the DMV Office of Driver Safety, which will allow you to show the need to drive and get your license back.

4.  You Didn’t Show Up In Court.

Courts love to suspend a license if you don’t show up in court, as their way of showing who’s boss. They are serious about you making your court appearances.  Even for the smallest driving violation, the court has the ability to put a hold on your license, causing your license to be suspended.  The solution to this problem is easy – have a lawyer go into court for you, or go into court yourself, and recall the warrant, which updates the DMV and releases your license hold.

Contact us for questions.

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If you have questions about getting your driver’s license back in California, contact us and our firm.  We are here to help you.

Could the blood alcohol level be lowered to .05%?

Alcohol Level Lowered to 05

The alcohol level, above which you are presumed to be impaired, in all 50 states, is .08%., but could the blood alcohol level be lowered to .05%? In my experience in trial handling DUI cases,  it’s not uncommon for the prosecution’s expert to give an opinion at DUI trials that, even if the person was at or above a .08%, the real limit at which people are intoxicated is actually a .05%.

A published scientific paper, “Alcohol Limits and Public Safety, published in the Forensic Science Review in 2014 (The citation is Canfield DV, Dubowski KM, Cowan M, Harding PM: Alcohol limits and public safety; Forensic Sci Rev 26:9; 2014., if you’re interested) addressed that issue.

The paper took a look at the action by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in May, 2014, to recommend lowering the legal limit for DUI to a .05% blood alcohol level.  That recommendation was just that, but it prompted other agencies to see whether they recommended the same, joined in the recommendation, or found no support for that recommendation.

The authors, in particular Dr. Canfield, and Dr. Dubowski, are well known within the forensic alcohol literature as truly experts in their field.  Their opinions carry much weight.

In reviewing 93 other scientific papers and studies, the authors concluded that impairment can, indeed, take place at a lower level than a .08%, and that tests that are commonly used in law enforcement today are effective at detecting and analyzing alcohol limits such as 0.05 or lower and are considered forensically acceptable.  Breath testing is the best way to determine alcohol level, according to the paper.

“Based on a review of the literature and personal experience, it is clear that breath-alcohol testing must be included in all laws regarding per se alcohol-concentration limits.”

The study notes that the scientific literature establishes with a high degree of scientific certainty the increased crash risk associated with accidents at different concentrations of alcohol and this needs to be the final deciding factor when establishing a per se legal alcohol limit. The ultimate goal of a per se alcohol limit is public safety and the reduction of deaths and injuries known to be associated with increasing alcohol concentrations. Considering the published literature, one must conclude that a minimum of 2,000 lives will likely be saved per year in the United States if the alcohol limit is lowered to 0.05, according to the study’s authors.

So could the blood alcohol level be lowered to .05%?”When asked the question at what alcohol concentration is it safe to drive, the answer must be no alcohol concentration, and that is why many countries have adopted zero-alcohol-limit laws for drivers.  Furthermore, many US states already have zero-alcohol-limit laws for teenage drivers. The degree of impairment of an individual is an elusive and largely subjective assessment.”

If you have questions for our Orange County DUI Defense Attorneys, contact us at the firm or at the number on the top of the page.  We are happy to answer your questions about blood alcohol levels.


OC DUI Checkpoints in Costa Mesa, Irvine, Buena Park, and Tustin 9/16

Orange County DUI Checkpoints

Orange County has another series of DUI checkpoints the week and weekend of Sept. 15-18th, 2016. OC DUI Checkpoints Costa Mesa, Irvine, Buena Park, Tustin 9/16 will take place in the cities of Irvine, Costa Mesa, Tustin and Buena Park, as follows:

Irvine DUI Checkpoint 09/15/2016

The City of Irvine had a DUI checkpoint on Thursday, September 15th, 2016, from the hours of  8pm to 2:00 am.  The DUI Checkpoint in Irvine was the last of a grouping of 10 grant-funded checkpoints.  It was located at the intersection of Alton at Irvine Center Drive during those hours.

Costa Mesa DUI Checkpoint 09/16/2016

The City of Costa Mesa will have a DUI checkpoint from 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., on Friday, Sept. 16th, in Costa Mesa.  The location was not announced. It will be within city limits, and usually are along Newport Boulevard in the City.

Tustin DUI Checkpoint 09/16/2016

The City of Tustin also announced a DUI checkpoint on Friday, September 16th, 2016.  It is from the hours of  7pm to 3:00 am.  The DUI Checkpoint in Tustin did not have an address or intersection listed, but is within City Limits.

Buena Park DUI Checkpoint 09/16/2016

The City of Buena Park will have a DUI checkpoint on Friday, September 16th, 2016, from the hours of 7pm to 3:00 am. It was announced in a press release.  The DUI Checkpoint in Buena Park is located on Knott Boulevard, and Noritsu Avenue, which is near the 91 Freeway.

OC DUI Checkpoints Costa Mesa, Irvine, Buena Park, Tustin 9/16, like all DUI checkpoints, have been held to be legal in California, as long as certain criteria are used in setting up the DUI check point, as follows:

  • Decision Making at the Supervisory Level
  • Limits of Discretion of Field Officers
  • Maintenance of Safety Conditions
  • Reasonable Location
  • Reasonable Time and Duration (No Fixed Roadblocks)
  • Indicia of Official Nature of Roadblock
  • Length and Nature of Detention
  • Advance Publicity

Without a checkpoint, officers typically have to be able to show that they have probable cause to stop and detain a driver. This means observing one of the following:

  1. A traffic violation;
  2. A defect in the vehicle that effects safety, or
  3. A driving pattern that indicates the driver may be driving drunk.

However, DUI checkpoints are not effective when compared to the more efficient saturation patrols.  (Saturation Patrols are when officers drive and specifically look for violations of the law).  In most cases in Orange County, a DUI checkpoint will get no more than 1-2 arrests, compared to the 10 times more arrests in the cases where officers are allowed to conduct saturation patrols.

The funding of DUI checkpoints is partially to blame.  Both the California OTS and the Federal NHTSA contribute grant money in large amounts to fund DUI checkpoints, but not Saturation Patrols.  MADD also favors DUI checkpoint, and contributes money and volunteers.

If you have questions about a DUI Checkpoint in Orange County or the laws regarding Irvine DUI cases, or any OC DUI Checkpoints Costa Mesa, Irvine, Buena Park, Tustin 9/16, please contact our firm any time.  We are here to help you.

Labor Day Weekend 2016 DUI Checkpoints in OC

Orange County DUI Checkpoints Labor Day Weekend 2016 are announced.  Look for Labor Day Weekend 2016 DUI Checkpoints in OC and sobriety checkpoints in the cities of:

  • Anaheim;
  • Lake Forest;
  • Fullerton;
  • Buena Park;
  • Brea;
  • Seal Beach; and
  • Saturation Patrols announced in Anaheim and in South County:
    • South Orange County under the direction of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.  Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo and Laguna Woods will see Orange County Sheriff’s Saturation Patrols.
    • Anaheim will have Saturation Patrols all this weekend and all next weekend.

There are DUI Checkpoints in Fullerton, Brea, Anaheim, Buena Park, Lake Forest, Seal Beach and Saturation Patrols announced in Anaheim and in South County.  The Orange County DUI Checkpoints  are on 09/01/2016 in Fullerton, 09/02/2016 in Brea, Anaheim, Buena Park, Lake Forest, and on 9/4/2016 in Seal Beach; and also Saturation Patrols announced in Anaheim and the South County saturation patrols throughout the entire weekend. Labor Day Weekend 2016 DUI Checkpoints in OC are going to be all over the County.  Here’s the rundown:


The Anaheim Police Department announced a Anaheim DUI checkpoint on Friday, September 2nd, 2016 at State College Boulevard and Cerritos, in Anaheim between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 3:30 a.m.


A Lake Forest DUI checkpoint was announced in the City of Lake Forest for Friday, September 2nd, 2016.  It will take place at an undisclosed location in Lake Forest, courtesy of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, between the hours of 7:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m..  This DUI checkpoint was just announced 3.5 hours before the DUI checkpoint.


The Fullerton Police Department announced a Fullerton DUI checkpoint on Thursday, September 1st, 2016 at an undisclosed location within the city limits between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 2:20 a.m.


The Buena Park Police Department announced a Buena Park DUI checkpoint on Friday, September 2nd, 2016 at Beach Boulevard and Stanton Avenue, within Buena Park city limits between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m.


A DUI checkpoint was announced in the City of Brea for Friday, September 2nd, 2016.  It will take place at an undisclosed location in Brea between the hours of 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.


A DUI checkpoint in Seal Beach was announced in that city for Sunday, September 4th, 2016.  It will take place somewhere on Westminster Avenue in Seal Beach, under the direction of the Seal Beach Police Department, between the hours of 6:00 p.m. Saturday to 3:00 a.m.. Sunday (Sept 5th).


The Anaheim Police Department has stated that they will have Saturation Patrols all over Anaheim this weekend, and next weekend also.


Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo and Laguna Woods are the site of saturation patrols, courtesy of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (unconfirmed).  

Saturation patrols involve trained officers, who  drive targeted roadways,  Patrols are during select time periods and look for typical DUI behavior. Saturation patrol units are equipped with testing units to provide field breath tests for prosecution of DUI.

Saturation patrols are many times over more effective in apprehending DUI suspects when compared to DUI checkpoints in Orange County.

The video below shows the Irvine DUI Checkpoint last month at Culver and Irvine Center Drive, hosted by the Irvine Police Department, to increase Irvine DUI Arrests in their city.  Literature from MADD and how MADD helps, as well as the guidelines and publicity for the DUI checkpoint in Irvine, are described by the Officer in Charge of the DUI Checkpoint. The officer discusses the Ingersoll case, DUI Lawyers in Orange County, the Watson advisement, and various scenarios.

I have discussed why DUI Checkpoints Don’t Work, and Are A Bad Idea, but they continue.  Because of the heavy Federal, and State, grant funding, along with contributions for officer overtime, and contributions by MADD.  That diverts officers into a less effective activity.

Be careful this Labor Day Weekend 2016 DUI Checkpoints in OC throughout the entire weekend all over Orange County – let people know to expect traffic tie ups near the checkpoints, and save someone from making a bad decision this weekend.  If you need the services of our Orange County DUI Attorneys, contact our firm anytime.