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Top Ten Questions > From Non-Residents

6. Can I get a work license?

breathalyzerThe best Sonoma DUI lawyers should explain that if you already have, or you intend to go and get, a California license, then in a typical first offense Sonoma County DUI case (arrest date after 1/1/19, alcohol-related, age 21 or older, no allegation of injury or refusal to give a chemical test), with no other aggravating circumstances, and no viable legal defenses or other mitigating factors, most drivers may avoid a suspension of driving privileges by obtaining either (1) an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) breathalyzer restricted license, or (2) a 12-month "work" license if the court doesn't order the IID breathalyzer. In either option, the restricted license may be issued at any local DMV office once the driver accomplishes certain tasks, all of which are discussed on this site under Getting Your License Back.

In a typical second or third offense DUI case, most drivers may avoid suspension by obtaining the same IID restricted license. Old law prior to 2019 typically required at least 30 days of no driving for most first offenders before getting a restricted license, and typically required 90 days or six months for most second or third offenders, respectively. Old law prior to 2010 typically required at least one year of no driving prior to any kind of restricted driving privileges.

Your Santa Rosa DUI attorney will likely tell you that if you do not have a California license, then the California DMV cannot issue a restricted license from your home state. This is one of the best reasons to obtain a California license prior to an anticipated suspension for a typical first offense DUI without viable defenses, if you intend to stay in California. Highly experienced Sonoma DUI lawyers know that it is still possible, but far more complicated, to obtain California restricted driving privileges on an out-of-state driver's license.

If you reside in another state, then it is likely that there are restricted or hardship driving privileges in certain cases (check this States Suspension Chart -- nearly all states permit some kind of limited driving), but availability depends on the local laws of your home state, and such advice may only be provided by a DUI attorney licensed to practice in that state.

California DUI laws and DMV policies and practice change often, so consult with a Sonoma County DUI attorney about your individual circumstances. There are also a large variety of special rules for drug DUIs, injury cases, minors, commercial drivers, out of state residents, etc. Click on Ten Tips for Getting Your License Back on this site for a more detailed discussion about getting your license back in many different situations. Consult with a Santa Rosa DUI lawyer about your specific case.

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Any result portrayed was dependent on the facts of that case, and the results will differ if based on different facts.

Our DUI Lawyers

Dave Jake Schwartz is an Honors Graduate from UC Hastings Law School, and UC Davis, former Federal Judicial Clerk, and Nationally Qualified Sobriety Tests Practitioner. Member of the California Bar for 30 years, Sonoma County resident for over 20 years, handles only DUI cases, including thousands of Sonoma County DUIs and DMV hearings: first/multiple offenders, minors, seniors, tourists, undocumented immigrants, veterans, probation violations, suspended license, public intoxication, open container, minor in possession, child endangerment, collisions, hit and run, evading, resisting arrest.

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Dave Jake Schwartz