Print Posted By California Drivers Advocates on 06/08/2017 in DMV

Why is the California DMV Suspending My Driver License for Road Rage?

Why is the California DMV Suspending My Driver License for Road Rage?


The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is the government agency tasked with the responsibility of issuing the California Driver License to qualified drivers.  The DMV is also empowered to deny, suspend, or revoke the privilege of anyone to operate a motor vehicle in the State of California if there good cause to do so.  In this article, we talk about why the DMV takes a dim view of those persons who are accused of committing an act or Road Rage.

The DMV defines any act of Road Rage (also known as “Highway Violence”) as occurring “When one driver reacts angrily to another driver.”  More broadly, the term of Road Rage has been defined as:

“Aggressive or angry behavior by a driver of an automobile or other road vehicle which includes rude gestures, verbal insults, physical threats or dangerous driving methods targeted toward another driver in an effort to intimidate or release frustration.”

The most prevailing factor here is that Road Rage is dangerous.  It is dangerous to the involved driver and anyone else on or near the roadway who could be affected by a resulting assault or accident.  The safe operation of a motor vehicle requires the safe, sane, and respectful control of that vehicle and any outbreak of emotion or rage could end in tragedy.  Because of this, the DMV will put public safety first and will take immediate action to suspend the driving privilege of any person who is thought to have been involved in an act of Road Rage.

What Authority Does the DMV Have to Suspend My License for Road Rage?

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is a Law Enforcement Agency that is empowered by the California State Legislature to not only enforce the provisions of the Vehicle Code but to administratively review the driving privilege of any driver who may not be safe to drive.

Classically, the DMV will learn that a driver has been involved in a Road Rage incident by two means:

  • Law Enforcement Request for Reexamination: The most common means of the DMV learning of an alleged Road Rage incident is when a police officer prepares a “Request for Reexamination of Driver” form that describes the incident alleged.  When the DMV receives such a request from a law enforcement officer, the department must initiate an investigation.
  • Civilian Request for Reexamination: Any person in the State of California may report a driver to the DMV who has been involved in a Road Rage incident.  Using the DMV’s Form (DS 699), any person may report an incident of Road Rage and may further request to have their identity kept confidential.  If the DMV receives a signed “Request for Reexamination of Driver” from any source, the department must initiate an investigation.

California Vehicle Code Section 13800 determines….. “The department may conduct an investigation to determine whether the privilege of any person to operate a motor vehicle should be suspended or revoked or whether terms or conditions of probation should be imposed….”

California Vehicle Code Section 13801 determines…..  “In addition to the investigation, the department may require the re-examination of the licensee, and shall give 10 days’ written notice of the time and place thereof.  If the licensee refuses or fails to submit to the re-examination, the department may peremptorily suspend the driving privilege of the person until such time as the licensee shall have submitted to re-examination.”

California Vehicle Code Section 13210 determines….. “In addition to the penalties set forth in subdivision (a) of Section 245 of the Penal Code, the court may order the suspension of the driving privilege of any operator of a motor vehicle who commits an assault as described in subdivision (a) of Section 245 of the Penal Code on an operator or passenger of another motor vehicle, an operator of a bicycle, or a pedestrian and the offense occurs on a highway. The suspension period authorized under this section for an assault commonly known as road rage, shall be six months for a first offense and one year for a second or subsequent offense to commence, at the discretion of the court, either on the date of the person s conviction, or upon the person s release from confinement or imprisonment. The court may, in lieu of or in addition to the suspension of the driving privilege, order a person convicted under this section to complete a court-approved anger management or road rage course, subsequent to the date of the current violation.”

California Vehicle Code Section 13351.8 determines….. “Upon receipt of a duly certified abstract of the record of any court showing that the court has ordered the suspension of a driver s license pursuant to Section 13210, on or after January 1, 2001, the department shall suspend the person s driving privilege in accordance with that suspension order commencing either on the date of the person s conviction or upon the person s release from confinement or imprisonment.  Under this section of law, the driver license MUST be suspended under Mandatory Action and the driver is not entitled to a hearing.

What is the Process the DMV Uses to Suspend My License for Road Rage?

Any time the DMV learns that a driver has been accused of being involved in an act of Road Rage, the department will identify the driver as a Negligent or Incompetent operator of a motor vehicle and will take action to suspend or revoke the driving privilege.

In most instances, this begins with the driver receiving an “Order of Suspension/Revocation” by US mail.  Although the department does reserve the right to initiate the process by ordering the driver into a re-examination interview, it has become the standard policy of the department to move to direct suspension and then challenge the driver to ask for a hearing.  Also it has been the policy of the department to not grant a Stay of Suspension while the process is ongoing.

The Vehicle Code requires the department to provide the driver with written notice of the suspension/revocation and to further provide the driver 10 to 14 days to request an administrative hearing.  If the driver makes a timely request for a Negligent Operator Hearing then such a hearing shall be granted and convened at the Driver Safety Office closest to the driver’s home.   If the effected driver fails to make a timely request for a Negligent Operator Hearing, the suspension shall remain in effect.

How Can I Fight the Suspension of My Driving Privilege for Road Rage?

Because acts of Road Rage can include violence that expose a driver to Criminal Prosecution, as well as the suspension of the driver license, it is imperative that he or she seek professional advice immediately.  Decisions you make now can have a profound impact on the outcome of your case.

The DMV Defense Experts from California Drivers Advocates (CDA) have been representing California drivers as license suspension hearings for years.  We’ve seen everything, including cases of Road Rage.  We know how to schedule, prepare and conduct Negligent Operator Hearings that often keep our clients driving.  If it becomes necessary to defend yourself in court against a criminal charge, we can refer you to one of the best attorneys in the business.  No one should face the DMV or the Court alone.

If you have been accused of “Road Rage” and the DMV is seeking to suspend your license, don’t let them steal your license without a fight.  Call CDA today.

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