Getting a DUI charge will have a serious effect on your ability to drive. The State of California Department of Motor Vehicles explains that upon an arrest for a DUI, you automatically receive a suspension of your license. It remains suspended until your hearing at which point you may get it reinstated or the suspension may continue. In any case, when you finally do get your suspension lifted, you will still have steps to take to get your driving privileges back.
If you have a suspension because the court convicted you of a DUI or you plead guilty to the charges, you may get your driving privileges back to drive to and work only through a request to the DMV. You do not have to go back to court for this. You submit an application to the DMV and they will make a ruling and alert you of the results.
If you wait out the suspension, once the time is up, your license is automatically reinstated, but to get your rights to drive back, you must pay some fines. You will have to pay a reinstatement fee of $100 to $125. You also must show proof of insurance or alternative financial responsibility. Upon doing this the DMV will reinstate your full driving privileges.
Do keep in mind that multiple DUI convictions result in longer suspension times. Your first DUI alone could lead to a one-year suspension. Even if you are not convicted, you could still lose your license if you refuse to take the chemical test at the request of an officer. This information is for education and is not legal advice.