DUI Penalties in California
Article Provided by Elon Berk
California’s DUI laws seek to punish motorists who drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more. If you’re caught driving with this BAC level, you should retain legal representation to protect your rights. You may face substantial penalties if you under represent yourself.
Your first DUI carries a fine of anywhere from $390 to $1,000. Future DUI convictions will receive those penalties, in addition to “penalty assessments,” which can substantially raise the dollar amount a driver has to pay out for an offense. For repeat offenders, penalties routinely reach several thousand dollars or more.
Although somewhat unlikely, it is entirely possible for a first-time offender to spend up to six months in jail. Although 48 hours is more likely with first-time offenders. However, the judge usually orders probation. Judges tend to be lenient on first time offenders, based on the nature of the offense, and often won’t order jail time.
A six-month license suspension generally accompanies any first-time DUI conviction. There’s usually a period of four-month administrative suspension as well. This penalty is imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
If a driver faces more than one suspension, they’re typically allowed to overlap. You won’t usually need to complete two full suspension cycles. It’s usually possible to acquire a restricted license to drive to and from school after 30 days, assuming you have properly followed all court ordered restrictions.
First DUI offenders almost always receive a three-year term of informal probation (though that can climb as high as five years). The offender must also complete a three-month DUI driving school class (which consists of about 30 hours).
Elon Berk is a Criminal Defense Attorney and managing partner at “Gurovich, Berk & Associates.” Elon Berk is also the co-founder Enkrypt, a secure communication app for the iPhone.