What is a Certificate of Completion of an Alcohol Program? – All California drivers understand that driving in this state is a privilege which is granted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). We also know the DMV possesses the power to suspend or revoke the driving privilege of any person who drives in this state, if there is good cause to do so.
One of the primary reasons for the DMV to take a suspension or revocation action against a person’s driving privilege is for an allegation of driving under the influence of alcohol. Whenever a person is arrested in California for DUI, they have two distinctly separate battles to fight: Criminal case with the Superior Court & Administrative case with the California DMV.
If a person is either convicted in court of DUI, or if the DMV independently suspends or revokes the person’s driver license, one of the most common penalties is to require that person to attend and complete an alcohol education program.
Whether it is a “First Offenders Program” (AB 541) or a “Multiple Offenders Program” (SB 38), the DUI School will issue a certificate to establish when an offender “enrolled” and when they have “completed” an alcohol program. These certificates are to be filed with the DMV to prove the driver has complied with the requirements of attending and completing the alcohol program.
What happens if I submit a false Certificate of Completion to the DMV?
In years past, drivers who enrolled and then completed alcohol programs were issued the “Certificate of Completion” directly from the DUI School. The driver would then hand-carry the completion document to the DMV and file it with the department to prove they had completed their schooling requirement. This created an opportunity for unscrupulous people to create and file false Completion Certificates with the DMV as a means to circumvent the process of getting their driver license reinstated.
In recent years, however, the DMV now mandates that the “Certificate of Completion” be filed electronically by the school who issues the certificate. While this has substantially decreased the number of fraudulent documents being filed with the DMV, resourceful people are still finding ways to circumvent the process by filing Certificates of Completion for a program they never completed.
If the DMV discovers that you have filed a false Certificate of Completion either personally or electronically, this will be considered an act of fraud. Based upon a positive finding that you committed a fraudulent act, the DMV will suspend or revoke your driving privilege for a minimum of one year.
How can I protect myself?
Most often, a driver will learn that the DMV suspects them of Fraudulent Activity when they receive an “Order of Suspension/Revocation” in the mail telling them that the DMV believes they had filed a fraudulent document. By the time a driver receives such an order in the mail, the DMV has already conducted an internal investigation and is already convinced that good cause exists to suspend the driver license. The notice simply tells the driver that the suspension action is taking place and if the driver wishes to contest the action, he or she must contact the DMV quickly to set a hearing.
If the California DMV has notified you that they intend to suspend or revoke your driving privilege for any reason, pick up the phone and call the DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates, immediately. Our team of former police officers, former DMV hearing officers, investigators and scientists are ready to begin working to protect your driving future. Everything the DMV does is time sensitive so don’t delay. Call CDA immediately.