What You Need To Know About California DUI Records (2022)

car keys and glass of alcohol

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has said that 32 people die everyday because of people driving under the influence (DUI). Unfortunately, the numbers aren’t getting any better. 2020 has seen a 14% increase in drunk-driving deaths from the preceding year (2019) despite the fact that most people are confined indoors as a result of the lockdown placed by the ongoing pandemic.

The burgeoning figures relating to drunk driving are concerning. In fact, the NHTSA had stated that a good chunk of traffic-related accidents (30%) are attributed to the actions of those who may have too much to drink.

In the interest of raising awareness to this issue, the team at Omega Law Group have put together a report using the statistical figures produced by the NHTSA, the information available at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website, as well as the California Penal Code 1204.5.


  • You have ten days to request a hearing after the police officer reports you to the DMV.

  • The legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in California varies among age groups.

  • Fines for DUI in California depend on the number of offenses you’ve committed.

  • There are different ways to test your BAC

  • You can try to expunge your DUI record in California.

Getting A DUI Arrest and Obtaining California DUI Records

The DMV states that if you got arrested for DUI, the police will submit the following to them:

  • Notice of suspension or revocation

  • Your Suspended Driver’s License

The DMV will then conduct an administrative review. You will have ten days to request a hearing with the DMV. If the DMV’s verdict has been made in your favor, you will be notified in writing. However, no such writing will be made if they side with the police officer.

Driver’s License Suspension in California

Standards for rules and suspension vary among different age groups. Since they are barred from drinking, drivers under 21 years old will be beholden to stricter regulations.

If you’re under 21 years old…

  • If your BAC exceeds 0.01%, you’re considered to be drunk driving

  • Your driver’s license will be suspended for one year despite it being only your first DUI in California.

  • To get your driver’s license back, you will need to provide your insurance information and $100.

If you’re 21 years old or older…

  • You’re considered to be drunk driving if your BAC exceeds .08%

  • If it is your first DUI in California, this will lead to a four-month driver’s license suspension.

  • If it is your second or third DUI in California within ten years since your first, then this will lead to a one-year driver’s license suspension.

  • As a part of the overall DUI fines in California, it will cost you $125 to get your license back. You will also need to provide proof of financial responsibility (ie: car insurance)

Refusing To Take A Chemical Test

Chemical tests of any form (blood, breath, or urine) are required by law. They are used to determine your BAC. Failure to comply will increase punishment for DUI. Aside from getting your license suspended, your driving privileges will also be revoked for a longer period of time.

  • First offense will lead to a one-year revocation

  • Second offense within 10 years will lead to a two-year revocation

  • Third offense within 10 years will lead to a three-year revocation

Urine Tests

Since 1999, urine tests have been offered as a last resort to drivers under the influence. You won’t be able to take the urine test unless:

  • Blood and breath tests are not available

  • The police officer suspects that the driver is on drugs

  • The driver discloses they have a health condition or are taking medication that would call for them to take a urine test.

DUI Expungement in California: A Simplified Explanation Of The California Penal Code 1204.5

The California Penal Code 1204.5 contains a detailed account of the legality of DUI expungement. However, it’s riddled with legalese that may be hard to understand. Here’s a simplified version of it:

If the person serving probation (probationer) has…

  • Fulfilled conditions stipulated in his probation,

  • Been discharged prior to their probation period,

  • Been granted relief,

…then the court should set aside the guilty verdict given that the probationer has fulfilled the following conditions:

  • Probationer hasn’t committed another offense that warrants them to serve a sentence.

  • Probationer hasn’t committed an offense that warrants them to serve another probation separate from the DUI.

  • Probationer isn’t convicted of another crime.

Aside from that…

  • Their probation papers should explicitly stipulate that the probationer has the right to request a Certificate of Rehabilitation and Pardon.

  • Your expunged DUI should not be held against you by any employers

While the defendant is rid of all accusations against them, it should be noted that…

  • They are legally required to disclose the pardoned DUI if they want to run for public office.

  • They will be punished as though they were not pardoned for the DUI if they commit another offense.

Call Omega Law Group

Our DUI attorneys in Omega Law Group have decades of legal experience and are well equipped to handle cases related to drunk driving. Our awards and excellent testimonials are a result of our ability to empathize and attend to the needs of our clients. If you or a loved one is afflicted with an accident that encompasses 30% of overall traffic-related accidents as reported by the NHTSA, reach out to our team. Visit our Contact Us page or call us at (310) 504-1852.