What are the DUI penalties in California?

What are the DUI penalties in California?

| Apr 29, 2020 | Drunk Driving Defense |

Base penalties for driving under the influence in California start when a driver exceeds blood alcohol content of 0.08%. A DUI charge in California can result in jail time, significant fines and license suspension if you receive a conviction.

Before facing a DUI court date, learn more about the possible legal penalties in California.

No DUI history

You will receive a misdemeanor charge if you never had a DUI before. Conviction carries:

  • 30 to 60 hours of mandatory substance use disorder education
  • 48 hours in jail or probation
  • $390 fine plus thousands of dollars in court fees
  • License suspension for six months

One DUI in the past 10 years

If you receive a second DUI within 10 years of the initial conviction, you could receive:

  • 18 months of mandatory substance use disorder education
  • 96 hours in jail or three years probation
  • $390 fine plus thousands of dollars in court fees
  • License suspension for two years and a mandatory ignition interlock device upon reinstatement

Two or more DUIs in the past 10 years

If you already had two DUI convictions in the past decade, you could receive:

  • 30 months of mandatory substance use disorder education
  • 120 hours in jail or three years probation
  • $390 fine plus thousands of dollars in court fees
  • License suspension for three years and a mandatory ignition interlock device upon reinstatement

In addition, California charges drunk drivers with felony prison time for accidents that injury or kill another person. The offender will receive a sentence of at least one year and fines of up to $5,000.

Some drivers are subject to stricter BAC level requirements. For example, a commercial driver can receive a DUI for BAC above 0.04%. For a minor, the legal limit is 0.01%. People can receive an aggravated DUI charge for BAC over 0.16%.

California has implied consent laws. You receive additional penalties on top of a DUI if you refuse to take a blood or breath test at the time of arrest.