San Diego DUI Law Center

License Restrictions for First DUI Offenders

A first offender San Diego California DUI offense can possibly trigger 2 suspensions:

1.  One arising out of an adverse California DMV Administrative Per Se Suspension Action (this below San Diego DUI Attorney article).

2.  Another separate & independent action arising out of an adverse San Diego DUI court conviction (that is not subject of this below Article; instead, visit this San Diego DUI Lawyer link).


First offenders who submit to a chemical test may be entitled to a restricted license following a 30 day suspension term. The following are the types of restrictions and the requirements for obtaining a restriction.

NOTE: A driver is not eligible for a restricted license if the driver has refused or failed to complete a chemical test OR the driver has a prior APS action or a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) within 10 years of the violation.

Restricted Non-commercial Driver’s License

A driver 21 years of age or older suspended under § 13353.2 VC who has not been convicted of a separate DUI violation or has not had a prior APS or PAS action within 10 years, may apply to the department for a restricted non-commercial driver license after 30 days of suspension.

The restriction will be in effect for 11 months.  See the restricted option here.

The (3) requirements are:

  • Provide proof of enrollment in a first offender DUI program as described in §23538(b) VC.
  • File proof of financial responsibility by a California Insurance Proof Certificate (SR 22).
  • Pay a $125 reissue fee.

The restriction applies as follows:

If Violation occurred in a non-commercial – Restricted to driving to/from/during motor vehicle. Holders of a commercial the course of employment and driving to driver license must down-grade to a Class and from DUI program activities.

C non-commercial driver license

If Violation occurred in a commercial – Restricted driving to and from DUI motor vehicle, must down-grade to a treatment program. Class C non-commercial. §13353.7(c)

Hardship Restriction – Drivers Under Age 21

Pursuant to §13353.8 VC upon issuing an order suspending a driving privilege as a result of a violation of §23136( a), the department may impose restrictions on a person’s driving privilege based upon a showing of a “critical need to drive.” This applies if within 10 years of the current violation of §23136 VC, the driver has not violated §23136 or has a prior APS action or conviction and has not been suspended or revoked for a PAS or other chemical test refusal.

“Critical need to drive” means the circumstances that are required to be shown for the issuance of a junior permit pursuant to §12513 Vc.

Types of restrictions allowed may be:

  • To and from school
  • For family illness
  • To and from work
  • For family enterprise and/or business
  • Do not impose the restriction earlier than the 31st day after the effective date of the order of suspension.

An APPLICATION FOR CRITICAL NEED RESTRICTION, DS 694, must be completed and submitted to the Driver Safety Actions Unit in headquarters.

If approved, a $100 reissue fee must be paid and a California Insurance Proof Certificate, SR 22, must be submitted. Upon receipt, restriction and comment indicating the restriction will be updated on, the driver record.”

[This San Diego DUI Attorney information is from pages 12-10 and 12-11 of the updated DMV Administrative Per Se Hearings Manual (Chapter 12) for California DMV Hearing Officers.]