Critical Need to Drive Application


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How to get your privilege to drive back if you have a suspension- the Critical Need to Drive Application

DMV and a DUI

While the under 21 DUI – California’s zero tolerance laws sets up a harsh punishment for any type of DUI involving a minor, there is the possibility of driving again during the suspension period.

Under Vehicle Code 13353.8, when an order suspending your driving privilege is issued because of any violation of Vehicle Code 23136 (a), the department might lift the suspension of a minor’s driving privilege based on a presentation of a “critical need to drive.”

When you are eligible for the DMV Critical Need to Drive

You are only able to get a critical need to drive license from the DMV, after your license is actually suspended, and only if you do not have any of the following:

  • Priors: Within a decade of the present violation of Vehicle Code 23136, the driver has no other significant record such as have previous APS action or a previous DUI conviction;
  • A DUI Refusal: The driver has not been suspended or cancelled for refusing to take a PAS test, or other chemical test;
  • No actual critical need: The driver has not shown an actual need to drive, or there are other alternatives available to the driver for transportation.

What is considered a critical need to drive?

The DMV’s  definition of a “Critical need to drive” is looked at in four categories.  You can apply using more than one category.  If approved, you would have a California restricted license, as allowed under Vehicle Code 12513, limited to driving for purposes under one or more of those categories.

The four categories of critical need to drive:

  1. To and from school or work
  2. For family illness
  3. For family enterprise and/or business
  4. For medical purposes (for yourself or for another

An application for Critical Need Restriction, DS 694, must be finished and presented to the Office of Driver Safety Mandatory Actions Unit headquarters, in Sacramento, California. If it is approved, you must pay a reissue fee of one-hundred and twenty five ($125) dollars and submit a California Insurance Proof Certificate, known as a SR 22. Once the application for critical need is approved, the suspension may be lifted and you can get a license to drive under the terms of the critical need application, despite the harsh under 21 DUI – California’s zero tolerance laws.

Critical need application approvals:

You should know that, according to the DMV, most critical need applications are denied.  The DMV considers these licenses to be severely limited, and only granted in extreme need in situations where all other transportation is inadequate. We have had success in detailing our client’s need to drive, and the unavailability of other options, by submitting substantial documentation along with the application, which greatly increases your chances for success.

How an attorney can help with an Underage DUI

We can professionally handle your underage DUI matter, and do everything in our power to minimize the impact of the under 21 DUI – California’s zero tolerance laws on your license and your criminal record.  That may include in many cases fighting the charges to dismissal of the case, or negotiating with the court, or the prosecutor, for a different charge, that avoids the punishment under the charges filed.  We have helped many families facing an under 21 DUI case, and can help you also.

Contact us

Contact us

Contact us today.  We can begin work on a strategy to keep you driving and avoid the long term problems of a mark on your driving record, or a criminal record. The Under 21 Zero Tolerance Laws do not have to keep you from a record, or from driving, if handled correctly.

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