When a person is arrested for a California DUI and it is suspected that alcohol is the cause of the intoxication, the arresting officer usually holds onto the person’s license and gives them an Administrative Per Se (APS) order of suspension slip. The driver has 10 days to contact the California DMV Driver Safety Office to schedule an APS hearing to try and save their license.
During the APS hearing, in order to suspend a person’s license, the California DMV APS hearing officer must determine that 1.) law enforcement had reasonable cause to believe the person was driving under the influence, 2.) that the person was placed under lawful arrest, and 3.) the person was driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more.
The last of these requirements can cause problems when the DUI arrest was the result of something other than alcohol.
If the driver was incorrectly served an APS order of suspension after a marijuana DUI (or any intoxicant other than alcohol), the DMV is still likely to automatically, albeit incorrectly, suspend the license if the person does not request a DMV APS hearing. Even though there was no blood alcohol content, scheduling a DMV hearing would still be necessary to allow a California DUI attorney to argue that the license should not be suspended because there was no alcohol found in the suspect’s blood.
If the driver was not served an APS order of suspension, contact the DMV may prompt an investigation into some other issue that may lead to a suspension, such as medical issues or drug dependency issues.
The moral of the story is that those arrested for a DUI, whether as the result of alcohol or marijuana or other drugs, contact a California DUI attorney as soon as possible. They can request the DMV APS hearing and they’re in the best position to save a license when there was no alcohol involved.