New DUI Laws

15TH APRIL 2022


  • In California DUI Lawyers Association v. DMV, the California Court of Appeals ruled that “the DMV is permanently enjoined and restrained from having its APS hearing officers function as advocates for the position of the DMV in addition to being finders of fact in the same adversarial proceeding.”
  • In other words, unless and until this case is overruled, the DMV can no longer serve the dual role of arguing on its own behalf and then issuing its own decision. Instead, the DMV must bring in an outside/neutral arbiter to perform the latter function. This is good news to anyone who is arrested for Alcohol DUI and must appear before the DMV in an Administrative Hearing.


  • AB-1950 makes 1 year the maximum period of probation for a Wet Reckless


  • AB-3234 (codified in Penal Code Section 1001.95) gives trial court Judges the discretion, over the Prosecutor’s objection, to grant Pre-trial diversion for any misdemeanor offense that isn’t specifically excluded, for a period not to exceed 24 months and under terms and conditions that the Judge deems appropriate. If the defendant complies with the imposed terms and conditions, at the end of the period of diversion, the Judge will dismiss the action against the defendant.

  • Since DUI isn’t one of the excluded offenses, defendants are generally eligible to petition the court for diversion. However, DUI cases will usually face an uphill battle, especially if the defendant has prior criminal history. Being represented by a competent DUI lawyer guarantees the highest probability that your diversion petition will be granted.


  • SB-1046 mandates that starting on January 1, 2019 a person convicted of a first DUI without injury is eligible to drive with no restrictions by installing IID for 6 months (among other requirements). If the person does not want to install IID, there are two options: 1) getting a 12-month restricted license (to and from work / alcohol program); or 2) not driving at all for 6 months. Previously only a restricted license was available for first offenders who want to drive. Additionally, those who lose the DMV Hearing can avoid the previously required 30-day hard suspension by installing IID
  • Multiple offenders can drive only on a restricted license, but they can avoid the previously mandated suspension / revocation period by installing IID. A second DUI has a 1-year IID requirement; a third DUI has a 2-year IID requirement; a fourth DUI has a 3-year IID requirement. Note that multiple offenders may not wait out the suspension by not driving
  • Installing IID prior to court conviction (ie. after losing or not requesting DMV Hearing) will result in credit being given for time installed
  • Refusals are not eligible for the driving privileges offered by SB-1046, but those under 21 are
  • SB-1046, which expires in 2026, does not affect those convicted of a Wet Reckless

Missouri v. McNeely

  • In Missouri v. McNeely, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that unless a warrant is obtained, suspicion of drunk driving is not grounds in and of itself to perform a forced blood-draw from a non-consenting arrestee. The high Court said that under the 4th Amendment, police can only perform warrantless forced blood draws in an emergency or under exigent circumstances. The Court specifically stated that a person’s BAC naturally dropping over time is not an exigent circumstance, which must be determined on a case-by-case basis and under the totality of the circumstances. In other words, if you refuse to submit to a blood test, under most circumstances police can no longer resort to a forced blood draw.
1ST JULY 2010

Ignition Interlocking Device (IID)

  • Beginning in July of 2010, all first time DUI offenders in Los Angeles, Alameda, Sacramento, and Tulare counties will be required to install an ignition interlocking device (IID). However, certain DUI offenders will be able to apply for a restricted license sooner than they would otherwise if they install IID. For example, a person convicted of a second DUI within 10 years is eligible for a restricted license after 90 days (as long as no longer on probation for the first DUI). These changes will remain in effect until 2016, when the legislature has the option of extending it further.

Vehicle Code §23154

  • Vehicle Code §23154 creates a separate offense for driving with a 0.01% BAC when you are still on probation for a prior DUI. While the offense is only an infraction in court, the DMV consequences are severe if you lose or don’t request a §23154 DMV Hearing.
  • A first offense of driving with a 0.01% BAC or greater is a 1 year suspension (2 years of revocation if refusal is involved). A restricted license is not available.
  • A second offense of driving with a 0.01% BAC or greater is a 1 year suspension (3 years of revocation if refusal is involved). A restricted license is not available.

Wet Reckless

  • If you already have a Wet Reckless (or DUI) and you plead to a new Wet Reckless within 10 years, the court must order that you complete a minimum 9 month alcohol program