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Driving on a Suspended License after a DUI

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James W Harwood
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Most people arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will face the reality of having their licenses suspended within 30 days.  An eventual conviction for DUI will also carry a period of license suspension.  Many of these people will suffer the real world dilemma of wanting to comply with the law, but needing to fulfill family and work obligations that require driving.  Some will risk being pulled over, despite the risk of heavy fines and incarceration. 

If your license has been suspended due to refusing a chemical test, or you were arrested but are not yet convicted of DUI, you could potentially violate Vehicle Code section 14601.5.  This law requires that your license be suspended for the reasons above, and you know about the suspension.  Punishment for a first offense is usually three years of court probation, and $300 base fine (about $1,200 actual fine).  A second violation within five years carries the probation, $500 base fine (about $2,000 actual fine), and a minimum 10 days in jail.  Most people will serve half of that time. 

If your license has been suspended because of a prior DUI conviction, you could potentially be in violation of Vehicle Code section 14601.2.  This statute also requires knowledge of the suspension.  Punishment for a first offense is usually three years court probation, a minimum 10 days in jail, and a $300 base fine (about $1,200 actual fine).  If you have another suspended license conviction within five years your minimum jail goes up to 30 days, and your fines go up to $500 base fine (about $2,000 actual).  For all violations of 14601.2 you will also be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device on your car, and you will not be allowed to drive a car without one.  This IID requirement applies even if your 14601.2 is pled down to a lesser violation of driving on a suspended license. 

If you have been charged or arrested for DUI you need to hire an attorney quickly to ensure that you retain your privilege to drive.  You also need an attorney if you have been accused of driving with a suspended license to ensure that you are not punished for something you did not even know about.

Category: General

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