Articles Posted in DMV Administrative Hearings

Chris R., a driver for the San Francisco Municipal Railway, was arrested for DUI in April 2009 after being stopped for speeding while coming off of the San Francisco Bay Bridge in Oakland.

Chris was charged by the Alameda County District Attorney with driving under the influence, Vehicle Code section 23152(a) and driving with a .08% or greater blood alcohol concentration (.16 blood test). As a Muni driver Chris has a commercial driver’s license privilege and he was also facing a dmv administrative suspension of 4 months for his personal driving and of 1 year on his commercial license. If convicted of DUI or of driving with a .08% bac he would also lose his commercial privilege for 1 year.

After several court appearances, including a motion to suppress evidence, and more than five months of negotiations Chris’ case was set for trial. Prior to setting the trial, Attorney John Stanko attempted to convince the DA to resolve the case for a reduced charge and to agree to an acquittal so that Chris could keep his commercial license. Unfortunately, the DA told Mr. Stanko that Chris would “never” get that deal. So, Chris’ withdrew his time waiver and demanded that a speedy trial be set.

When the case came on the court’s trial calendar Attorney Stanko got Chris the deal he wanted. The DA was convinced to dismiss the driving under the influence charge, Chris plead no contest to a wet reckless, and the judge found him not guilty of driving with a .08% or greater bac. As a result, the DMV cannot take any action against Chris’ commercial driving privilege and his administrative suspension was set aside.
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The City of South San Francisco Police Department has received state monies to increase the use of DUI checkpoints, patrols and courthouse stings in 2010. They have received almost $140k from the California Office of Traffic Safety and will apparently use some of that money to stake out repeat DUI offenders.

According to the Office of Traffic Safety the people of South San Francisco will also receive an education on the dangers of drunk driving. Office of Traffic Safety Director Christopher Murphy says the grant money will keep the annual trend of declining alcohol impairment related crashes going.

If you get a DUI in California there is a good chance you are going to have your driver’s license suspended. On a first offense you have only ten days to request a DMV administrative hearing and if you fail to do so, or lose the hearing, your license will be suspended for four months, longer if you are under 21 years old or refused a chemical test. You will also lose your license for six months if you are convicted of driving under the influence.
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The CHP’s efforts to stem drunk driving over the Thanksgiving Holiday resulted in more arrests than over the same period in 2008. The CHP began a DUI crack down in the San Francisco Bay Area at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 and by 6:00 a.m. on Friday, November 27, 2009, they had made 87 arrests for driving under the influence.

The 87 San Francisco Bay Area DUI arrests were moderately greater than the 83 drunk driving arrests over the same period in 2008. Throughout California the CHP made 542 arrests for driving under the influence compared to 513 last year.

Anyone arrested during the holiday DUI sweep will face possible driver’s license suspensions and criminal prosecution. It is important that a suspected DUI driver contact the DMV within ten days of their arrest to request an administrative hearing or their license will automatically be suspended. Further, the police report concerning their arrest will be forwarded to the local district attorney’s office for review and prosecution. If arrested in Marin or Solano County a person will likely be arraigned within 30 days. Arraignments in San Francisco are often held much sooner.
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A twenty-one year old Novato resident was arrested Monday night on suspicion of DUI after crashing into a parked car in San Anselmo. Police officers found the driver’s car partially blocking the roadway after apparently striking a car on Butterfield Road.

The Ross Valley Fire Department treated the driver for air bag injuries and she was taken to Marin General Hospital for further treatment. She was released from the hospital Monday Night.

The driver arrest for driving under the influence in Marin County could lead to several costly consequences. Typically the District Attorney’s Office will charge a DUI arrestee with both driving under the influence and driving with a prohibited blood alcohol level, above .08%. California Vehicle Code sections 23152(a)(b). In Marin County a conviction for either charge will normally result in the imposition of three years probation, substantial fines and required attendance at a DUI program. Further, anyone arrested for DUI in California has only ten days from the date of their arrest to contact the California DMV in order to contest the administrative suspension of their driving privilege.
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