California DUI News: DMV License Revocation Ruling

Saturday, April 11, 1998

San Rafael — A Marin County judge ruled yesterday that the Department
of Motor Vehicles does not have to dismiss license suspensions faced by
suspected drunken drivers throughout the state.

Attorney Paul Burglin had argued that delays in the DMV’s license
revocation hearings had violated the rights of 10 of his Marin clients —
as well as the rights of drivers in similar circumstances across the
state.

Superior Court Judge Vernon Smith disagreed, however, saying that
although the law specifies that the DMV "shall hold a hearing” before a
license suspension takes effect, delays in those hearings don’t mean that
the agency has lost its jurisdiction. Drivers are issued temporary
licenses to use until the hearing takes place.

Although he represents people facing drunken-driving charges, Burglin
had also charged that the delays subvert the law’s intent: to keep
intoxicated motorists off the road by quickly suspending their licenses.

©1998 San Francisco Chronicle Page A15

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