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Can I drive under a suspended license following a DUI

Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can result in being charged with a DUI and having your license suspended. Under California Vehicle Code 14601.2(a) VC, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a suspended license due to a DUI or DUI-related accident causing an injury. However, a person with a suspended license may apply for a restricted license that will allow them to drive under certain circumstances.

Restricted licenses following a DUI license suspension

Due to the inability to legally drive, may result in unfulfilled responsibilities in a person’s life. There are; however, options for those with suspended licenses resulting from a DUI. Certain people may be able to apply for a restricted license. A restricted license will either allow you to drive for specific reasons (work, driving a dependent to school, driving someone to a hospital in an emergency, etc.), or you can apply for a restricted license that lets you drive under the condition that you have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. An ignition interlock device makes it so you have to breathe into the device that checks if you’ve consumed alcohol before operating your vehicle.

What if you didn’t know your license is suspended?

In order to be found guilty of violating 14601.2(a), you must have been notified of your suspension. If, for example, you did not receive a letter stating your suspension and otherwise had no way of knowing that your license was suspended, then you may not be found guilty of driving under a suspended license. Code 14601.2(a) VC states this as follows:

“(b) Except in full compliance with the restriction, a person shall not drive a motor vehicle at any time when that person's driving privilege is restricted if the person so driving has knowledge of the restriction.

(c) Knowledge of the suspension or revocation of the driving privilege shall be conclusively presumed if mailed notice has been given by the department to the person pursuant to Section 13106.  Knowledge of the restriction of the driving privilege shall be presumed if notice has been given by the court to the person.  The presumption established by this subdivision is a presumption affecting the burden of proof.”

After reading this article, you should have a general understanding of your rights following a suspended DUI, including the opportunity to receive a suspended license. If you would like more information specific to Code 14601.2(a) VC and how you can be defended against charges under this law, please consider contacting us. 

Regardless of the classification of the offense, it is important that you seek the assistance of competent legal counsel to help you best understand your legal defense while identifying an outcome that best minimizes your risk. We here at the H Law Group patiently await your call.

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