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DUI Background and Penalties

Over the next few weeks, we will be discussing a number of topics related to driving under the influence (DUI), including:

  • The background and penalties of DUI, DUI with injury, driving under the influence of drugs (DUID), and related charges
  • Traffic checkpoints, arrest, and vehicle impound
  • Defending a DUI
  • DUIs at trial
  • The installation of interlock ignition devices

California Vehicle Codes 23152 makes it unlawful for any person under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, to drive a vehicle. Drivers are considered impaired if their blood alcohol level is 0.08% or greater.

Penalties

The following penalties apply to DUIs with no aggravating offenses. Often, DUI arrests come with additional charges such as speeding, driving with a child under the age of 14, DUI under the age of 21, or driving on a suspended license. Any of these aggravating offenses can greatly increase the penalties driving under the influence. BAC above 0.15% or 0.20% can also increase penalties as an aggravated DUI.

For a first offense DUI, penalties include:

• Jail time from 48 hours to 6 months
• License suspension for 6 months
• Probation from 3 to 5 years
• Participation in a 3 month DUI education program
• Fine (normally totaling $2,000)

For a second offense DUI within 10 years of any previous DUI:

• Jail time from 96 hours to 1 year
• License suspension for 2 years
• Probation from 3 to 5 years
• Participation in a 18 month DUI education program
• Fine (normally totaling $2,500)

For a third offense DUI within 10 years of any previous DUI:

• Jail time from 120 days to 1 year
• License suspension for 3 years
• Probation from 3 to 5 years
• Participation in a 18 month DUI education program
• Fine (normally totaling $2,500)

For a fourth offense DUI within 10 years of any previous DUI:

• Jail time from 180 days to 1 year (if felony up to 3 years)
• License suspension for 4 years
• Probation from 3 to 5 years
• Participation in a 18 month DUI education program
• Fine (normally totaling $2,500)

A fourth offense DUI is a “wobbler” under California state law, meaning that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

You may also need an attorney with the experience and legal knowledge to defend your rights against charges often related to DUIs, such as felony DUI, DUID, reckless driving, and other vehicular crimes.

If you have been arrested for a DUI or related charge, contact me to confidentially discuss your case at (530) 823-5400. I have successfully represented thousands of DUI clients in Placer, Sacramento, Yolo, and El Dorado counties.