What is a Stay of Suspension at Administrative Per Se/DUI Hearing?
Under California’s compulsory Administrative Per Se Law, a person’s driving privilege is to be immediately suspended if they are arrested or detained for:
- Age 21 and older who drives with an blood/alcohol concentration of .08% or greater,
- Any age who refuses to submit to a chemical test of their blood or breath at the request of a Peace Officer,
- Under 21 years old who drives with a blood/alcohol concentration of .01% or greater,
- Any age who drives with a blood/alcohol level of .01% or greater while on DUI probation.
Upon release from arrest or detention, the accused person’s driver license is to be confiscated by the arresting officer (unless an out of state driver) and that person is then to be provided a pink-colored notice from the DMV entitled, “Notice of Suspension and Temporary Driver License.” Provided the driver’s original driver license was valid at the time of the arrest, this pink slip of paper extends the person’s driving privilege for 30 days. This provides the accused driver the opportunity to schedule an Administrative Hearing at the DMV to fight the intended suspension of their driver license. Known as an Administrative Per Se Hearing (APS Hearing), this is a full-blown, evidentiary hearing conducted before a DMV Hearing Officer at the Driver Safety Office closest to where the arrest occurred.
Because of the inherent delays in receiving police reports, and because the accused driver has the right to subpoena additional items of evidence, it is not uncommon for an APS Hearing to take months to resolve.Remember, the original pink “Notice of Suspension” provided by the police officer only permits driving for 30 days. But if an APS Hearing can take several months to resolve, what is a driver to do?
The answer is the accused driver must request a Stay of Suspension at the time they originally request their APS Hearing. If the driver contacts the appropriate driver safety office within the first 10 calendar days following their arrest, and if that driver requests an APS Hearing to fight the suspension of their driver license, they are also entitled to a Stay of Suspension. A Stay of Suspension effectively “stops” or “freezes” the suspension in place until the outcome of the APS Hearing. This permits the driver complete “unrestricted” driving privileges until the outcome of the APS Hearing, regardless of how long that may take.
We would like to be to say that all DMV employees are looking out for your best interest and would automatically issue a Stay of Suspension anytime a driver makes a timely request for an APS Hearing. Unfortunately that is just not the case. We have seen many instances where a driver contacts the Driver Safety Office within 10-days of their arrest and makes an honest effort to do the right thing. They tell the DMV that they have been arrested and that they wish to exercise their right to an APS Hearing, but in the confusion of the conversation, they forget to ask for the Stay of Suspension. That person believes they have protected their rights, but because they did not specifically ask for a Stay of Suspension, the DMV employee doesn’t put it in place and the license is automatically suspended.
Once you have been arrested for DUI in the State of California, you must contact the appropriate Driver Safety Office within the first 10-days to request an APS Hearing. At that time, there must be an appropriate and verifiable request for a Stay of Suspension. If this does not happen, your driver license will automatically lapse into a state of suspension or revocation 30 days after your arrest. The suspension/revocation period can be anywhere from 30 days to 3 years depending on the facts in your case.
Don’t let this happen. The DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates (CDA) have been scheduling hearings and securing the Stay of Suspension for drivers for many years. We will not be dissuaded by the DMV’s gimmicks or tricks. Call CDA today. Let us protect you.
Again, we’d like to tell you that securing a Stay of Suspension is as simple as picking up a phone and placing a call to your local Driver Safety Office. In fact, it really should be that simple, and many times it is. However, the DMV hates conducting these hearings and they don’t do them well so there are many Driver Safety Managers who instruct their support staff to dissuade or obstruct drivers from asking for an APS Hearing or a Stay of Suspension.
The DMV Defense Experts at CDA have seen every trick in the book. We have learned that the appropriate way to ask for an APS Hearing and a Stay of Suspension is to send a detailed request by fax and then to follow that up with personal contact. Because we use this two-step method and because we also have established professional working relationships with the employee’s at the DMV, we don’t make mistakes. We don’t miss important dates and we ensure that our client’s enjoy their driving freedom until the outcome the DMV Hearing.
A Stay of Suspension is Critical to Your Driving Freedom.
As stated above, it is not uncommon for an APS Hearing to take several months to develop. In fact, we’ve had complicated cases that take more than a year to resolve If it weren’t for a Stay of Suspension, our client’s would have their driver license suspended or revoked before they even saw their police reports.There is no excuse for this happening. In some rare instances, it may be tactically appropriate to wave a Stay of Suspension, but that is not the norm. For a driver to suffer a suspension before they are able to defend themselves is unthinkable, unnecessary, and completely avoidable.
If you have been arrested for DUI in the State of California and if your driving privilege is important to you, call CDA today. We will handle the contact with the DMV correctly and ensure you are awarded a Stay of Suspension.
More about Administrative Per Se (DUI) Hearings at the California DMV