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Filing for Limited Driving Privileges

Law Offices of Andrew C. Janecki Dec. 29, 2023

Close up of judge gavel and car keys Are you residing in California and facing the dilemma of a suspended or revoked driver's license due to a DUI or DWI conviction? If so, you may be thinking, "How am I going to get to work, school, or medical appointments?" Well, there's a pathway for you to legally drive again for those reasons—it's called a restricted license. 

What Is a Restricted License?

Simply put, a restricted license, also known as limited driving privileges, is an opportunity extended to those who've had their regular driver's licenses suspended or revoked. It's not a free pass to drive as you please, but it does allow you to drive for specific purposes such as getting to work, attending school, or seeking medical treatment. Think of it as a bridge that helps you maintain some semblance of normalcy while you navigate the tricky waters of a DUI or DWI conviction. 

Who Is Eligible to File?

Now, you're probably asking yourself, "Am I eligible to file for a restricted license?" The answer to this isn't straightforward as there are certain criteria set by California law that you need to meet. First off, there must be a valid reason for needing a restricted license, such as employment or education.

Secondly, you must have completed any mandatory suspension or revocation period imposed by the court or the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Moreover, you need to prove that you're enrolled in a DUI education program and maintain proof of financial responsibility, like an SR-22 insurance policy. It's not an easy road, but it's definitely worth pursuing if it means maintaining some level of independence. 

Common Restrictions

While obtaining a restricted license can give you back a piece of your freedom, it's important to understand that it comes with several restrictions. These restrictions can vary depending on the specifics of your DUI or DWI conviction. You may face limitations on driving hours, geographical boundaries, and even be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. This means you'll have to blow into a breathalyzer device before starting your car, ensuring you're not under the influence of alcohol. It's like having a personal checkpoint right in your vehicle. 

The Filing Process

The process of filing for a restricted license in California is a bit intricate and involves several steps. After completing any required suspension or revocation period imposed by the court or DMV, you must enroll in a DUI education program and provide proof of enrollment. Additionally, you must obtain an SR-22 insurance policy, which serves as a certificate of financial responsibility.

Once these requirements are met, you can submit an application for a restricted license to the DMV, complete with all necessary documentation and fees. 

Consequences of Violating the License

What happens if you violate the terms of your restricted license? Well, this is where things can get really serious. Violations might include driving outside of the designated area, driving during restricted hours, or tampering with the IID. The consequences for violating a restricted license can be severe, including further suspension or revocation of driving privileges, fines, and potentially even imprisonment. So, it's crucial to adhere strictly to the imposed restrictions to avoid further legal complications. 

How an Attorney Can Help

Navigating the process of filing for a restricted license can feel overwhelming. But you don't have to do it alone. Having an experienced DUI/DWI defense attorney, such as myself, by your side can make a world of difference. With my knowledge, you’ll be guided through the filing process as I ensure all necessary documentation is submitted correctly and on time.

Moreover, I can provide legal advice and representation in cases of any violations or complications related to your restricted license. With my knowledge of California DUI laws, I can help you protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome in your restricted license application. 

My firm, The Law Offices of Andrew C. Janecki, located in Santa Cruz, California, is here to support you throughout this challenging process. Remember, even in tough times, you have options and rights. Let me help you get back on the road. I work with clients throughout the area, including Palo Alto, San Jose, San Francisco, and Berkeley.