10 Year Revocation of Drivers License Now Possible for 3rd Drunk Driving

California passed a new law this year that allows the California DMV to take drivers license for 10 years upon a 3rd drunk driving conviction.  Vehicle Code section 23597(a) lets a Judge issue the revocation in cases the Court feels it is necessary, but the revocation will not be automatic.  If the Court does not make the order, the DMV will not take action.  According to Bruce Blythe, a seasoned DUI Attorney in Kern County, this law leaves a broad degree of discretion in the hands of the judicial system and may be a negotiating tactic for many District Attorneys seeking a guilty plea.  It is envisioned that many prosecutors and judges will threaten the longer revocation if the defendant “rolls the dice” and takes the case to trial and loses. The ordinary consequence is a 3 year loss of license, which will be the default period unless the Court makes any additional orders.  If the revocation is imposed , after 5 years the licensee can apply for an early restriction with IID and proof of completion of an alcohol education school.  California is not the first state to impose such a harsh penalty.  Those facing a third driving under the influence criminal case should consult a lawyer to familiarize themselves with other penalties and Kern County DUI laws in general.

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