Category Archives:Driving with Suspended License

Uber/Lyft Instead of a DUI

Getting a DUI can be incredibly expensive, without even considering the possible property damage and long-lasting injury to self and others.  It is estimated that a standard 1st DUI (with no accident) will cost $10,000, before increased insurance costs.  (For a more detailed list of the costs and consequences of a DUI, click here.)

But there is an immediate alternative to this expense in ride-hailing apps.  If you have alcohol or drugs in your system, request an Uber or Lyft ride.  From downtown Sacramento to Roseville or Elk Grove on a weekend night, the ride costs $23-31. To West Sac, the ride is a mere $12.  Any one with an Uber/Lyft account can request a ride for themselves or others (18 or older).  You can get your friend home safely, instead of hoping he actually was unimpaired as he drives away from your night out.  It will save lives, it will save reputations and $25 versus $10K is a deal anywhere.

While we teach our kids, our friends, and ourselves how to drink safely and how to always have a travel plan in place before we drink, let’s also have a safe, easy, inexpensive “Plan B” – to get home and to avoid a DUI.

Also realize that these rides can help those we love get out of dangerous or uncomfortable situations.  If someone is on a date or at a party where someone else is their ride, they can order an Uber/Lyft and leave if they feel in danger of sexual violence or feel uncomfortable with the legal choices being made.  Ride-hailing is a safe, quick way out.

In this season of graduations, celebrations, retirements and summer festivities, help set up ride-hailing accounts for those you love.  You can attach them to pre-paid cards (that allow funds to be added) or you can give Uber Gift Cards.  We should use these services and encourage others to do the same, rather than to ever risk driving impaired.

If you, or anyone you care for is arrested for a DUI, contact my office anytime day or night – immediately.  Mistakes happen, but that mistake can only be complicated by not reaching out for immediate aggressive representation.

Cost of a First DUI


One of the first questions out of every client’s mouth is, “What is this DUI arrest going to cost me.”  A DUI conviction can be very expensive, depending on the facts of your case.  Below is a break down of the typical costs of a first DUI.

Costs of a standard 1st DUI with no accident is estimated at $10,000 before increased insurance costs.  This is how that estimate breaks down and can be variable for each case:

Court fines and penalties  – approx. $2500 (includes restitution fund)

3 – 6 month DUI class (depending on BAC) –  $700 – $2000

SCRAM device (if ordered) – $40/day (typically for 6 months in high BAC cases)

Work project or home detention $80 – $120 to sign up

(alternate to in-custody time)  $40 – $80/day (depends on the case: min 2 days; max 6 months)

Ignition Interlock Device (IID) – $100/month (minimum 5months is standard)

Attorney fees  – $2000 – $5000

DMV license reissue fee  –  $135

Towing/impound fees  – $1000 – $2000

(depending on if they choose to keep the vehicle for 30 days)

Increased automobile insurance costs  –  Variable; often rates increase by 33-60% or more per year for the 10 years that the points stay on your record

Bail – $500-$5000  (required in some local counties)

Other consequences:

  • No jail time typical on 1st DUI
  • 6-month driver’s license suspension (As of 2019, you are entitled to a restricted license as soon as the DMV takes action.)
  • A DUI shows as a misdemeanor conviction on your record. (The conviction can be expunged after a few years, but the points remain on your DMV record for 10 years.)
  • If you are under 21 years of age, any measurable amount of alcohol in your system results in a one-year license suspension, with no restricted license available*

*Driver’s under 21 establishing a “critical need” for a restricted license can go through a separate application process that is subject to full DMV discretion.

If you have been arrested for a DUI, or for any crime, do not hesitate to reach to contact us at any time.

Driving With a Suspended License

In California, your privilege to drive may be taken away under many different circumstances.  If taken away, and then caught driving, you can be convicted of driving with a suspended license.  You can be arrested, and face the possibility of jail time. The severity of these penalties will depend on the reason your license was originally suspended.

Suspension Because of a DUI

When arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (Vehicle Code Sections 23152a and 23152b) your license can be suspended. This suspension occurs either due to an administrative suspension by the DMV after 30 days, or due to a conviction of either 23152(a) or 23152(b). This can cause two different suspensions and, consequently, two different vehicle code sections which can be used to prosecute  a person for driving with a suspended license.


A citation for violating California Vehicle Code Section 14601.5 comes when a person is driving on a suspended license due to an administrative suspension from the DMV after a DUI arrest.  The DMV suspends your license 30 days after an arrest for violating vehicle code section 23152(b).  You may contest this arrest, but only have 10 days to request a hearing with the DMV.

If convicted of driving on a suspended license in violation of CVC 14601.5, you can face mandatory jail time, thousands of dollars in fines, and a probation term of up to five years.


A person is charged with violating California Vehicle Code Section 14601.2 when they are driving a vehicle and their license is suspended due to a DUI conviction.  A violation here carries a minimum of 10 days of jail time, potentially thousands of dollars in fines, a probation term, and the possibility that an ignition interlock device would be required to be installed.

Suspension for Unpaid Tickets/Failure to Appear – 14601.1

The DMV may also suspend a person’s license if they fail to appear in court, or have unpaid traffic tickets.  This vehicle code section is different from 14601.5 and 14601.2 in that it carries with it the possibility of jail time, fines, and a probation term, but can also be an infraction, meaning you cannot face jail time or probation if it is deemed an infraction by the court.  Often we can negotiate a resolution for an infraction for a fine only for clients charged under this code section.

14601.3 – Habitual Traffic Offenders

The DMV may suspend a person’s license if they are deemed a habitual traffic offender.  This generally occurs when a person receives too many points in certain time period while their license was already suspended.  This occurs when a person receives two or more two point serious driving related crimes (such as violations of Vehicle Code 23103 Reckless DrivingVehicle Code 23152 Driving Under the InfluenceVehicle Code 23109(c) Exhibition of Speed, any Vehicle Code 14601 section, or any other two point vehicle code violation), three or more one point violations (including speeding, running a stop sign, failing to stop at a limit line [running a red light], or any other one point violations), or three or more accidents where someone was injured or the property damage totaled at least $750.00.

The penalties for a first conviction of driving on a suspended/revoked license due to Vehicle Code Section 14601.3 are: a mandatory 30 days in jail, a fine of $1000, plus penalties and assessments, possible probation for one to five years.

If convicted for a second violation of driving on a suspended/revoked license due to Vehicle Code Section 14601.3 are: a mandatory 180 days in jail, a fine of $2000, plus penalties and assessments, possible probation of one to five years.

When cited for any driving on a suspended license code sections it is important to know what code section you are cited with and what you are facing. Just because you are cited for one section does not mean you should plead to that charge. Often a charge can be reduced or dismissed depending on the circumstances of the case. An attorney who knows the law and the local courts can generally get you better results than the initial offer from the Judge or District Attorney’s Office.