California DMV Audit Ordered for Long Wait Times

California DMV Audit Ordered for Long Wait Times

A California DMV audit has been ordered by the governor for the ridiculous wait times reported by motorists at numerous DMV field offices across the state. Based on a law practice that deals with DMV offices across California every day, we could add our own observations that we hope the audit addresses. First, the Mandatory Actions Unit frequently does not even answer its phone, dumping callers after navigating the long voice-response queue. MAU is the front-line of contact for the significant number of motorists involved in licensing actions, and it is inexcusable that they cannot get through. Second, in the last 12 months or so, we have noticed increasing numbers of calls and letters to Driver Safety offices simply being ignored. San Francisco Driver Safety is the lead culprit, pretending numerous times not to have received facsimile transmissions and refusing to do anything about it. State Finance Director Keely Martin Bosler (who is appointed by Brown) notified the agency that her office will conduct the California DMV audit amid concerns about the agency’s performance. “As we have discussed, long wait times at the Department of Motor Vehicles do not reflect the high standards of service that Californians expect from their state government,” Bosler wrote in a letter Friday to DMV Director Jean Shiomoto.  Shiomoto responded that DMV welcomes “the Department of Finance’s input into DMV’s ongoing efforts to reduce wait times and improve customer service and stand ready to assist with the audit.” The delays have been worsened by frequent computer crashes, including one Thursday that interrupted operations at 68 of the DMV’s 172 field offices for more than...
Rodney Gould wins San Francisco DMV Appeal

Rodney Gould wins San Francisco DMV Appeal

The First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco just overturned a DMV suspension for one of Mr. Gould’s motorist clients. In Miller v. Department of Motor Vehicles (May 2, 2018; A147050), a unanimous appellate panel agreed with Mr. Gould that the motorist’s arrest was illegal and that therefore, so was the suspension of his license. In the wee hours of the morning of  July 31, 2014, CHP Officer Christopher Pettyjohn was investigating a single car collision in an unincorporated area of Humboldt County.  The vehicle was registered to Mr. Miller at an address some two miles away. Officer Pettyjohn, under the pretense of “checking his well-being,” directed another officer to Miller’s house. The second officer gained entrance to the house through Miller’s roommate and then barged into Miller’s bedroom and awakened him. He ordered Miller outside and waited for Pettyjohn to arrive. When Officer Pettyjohn arrived, he initiated a DUI investigation and ultimately arrested Miller for DUI. When DMV suspended Miller’s driver’s license administratively, he hired an attorney to file a writ petition. The judge in Humboldt County refused to issue the writ. Then Miller hired Mr. Gould. Mr. Gould argued on appeal that there was no justification for the police officers to go into Miller’s bedroom. There were no exigent circumstances to justify it, nor any permission to enter his bedroom granted, as the roommate did not have the authority to give that permission. “We conclude that Miller’s detention was not lawful. A vehicle involved in a single-car accident without more does not indicate that the driver was under the influence of alcohol, nor do these facts indicate that...
U.S. House Passes Sweeping Autonomous Car Bill

U.S. House Passes Sweeping Autonomous Car Bill

The U.S. House today unanimously approved a sweeping proposal to speed the deployment of self-driving cars without human controls and bar states from blocking autonomous vehicles. The bill now goes to the Senate and would allow automakers to obtain exemptions to deploy up to 25,000 vehicles without meeting existing auto safety standards in the first year, a cap that would rise to 100,000 vehicles annually over three...