DUI Penalties and Punishments
Penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are embodied in a complex set of rules laid out in the California Vehicle Code sections 23536 - 23552. The rules are complicated because more often than not there are other factors involved in a DUI arrest. The fact that the driver was pulled over in the first place indicates that she or he may have been speeding, recklessly driving, or involved in a collision. Any of these associated factors will increase penalties.
First DUI Conviction
Penalties for a first simple DUI conviction will include a minimum of 48 hours in jail, days spent in a community service program and DUI Victim Impact Panel, weeks in a DUI class, months with a suspended license, and years on probation. County courts vary in the harshness of their sentencing. Total assessment, fees, fines, and other detriment (e.g., jail fees, DMV license fees, insurance penalties, DUI fine, court fees, mandatory fund contribution, and DUI class) can be in excess of $5,000.
Second and Third Conviction
The second offense within 10 years carries a fine of up to $1000, from 96 hours to 1 year in jail, and an 18-month license suspension, restriction, alcohol drug program, and/or ignition interlock device. The third offense carries a penalty of up to $1000, from 120 days to 1 year in jail, 3-year license revocation, and 18-month alcohol drug program. The fourth DUI conviction will result in felony charges and state prison.
Enhanced DUI Penalties
Penalties will be increased where the blood-alcohol concentration is 0.15 percent or higher. Refusal to submit to a blood test will lead to a longer jail term. Speeding and reckless driving, where licensee drove 20 mph over the speed limit on a street or 30 mph on a freeway, will lead to increased jail time. Increased penalties apply when there is a passenger under the age of 14, resulting in the charge of child endangerment. Increased penalties, and even felony punishment, may apply when there is corresponding personal or property injury. If the driver is under 21, zero tolerance laws will increase the penalties. Finally, if the driver was driving with a suspended license, enhanced penalties will apply.
RLG attorneys are experienced in all aspects of DUI law. If you have been arrested for DUI, a criminal defense attorney at RLG will fight to protect your rights. We serve the entire Bay Area.
For outstanding legal representation, please contact RLG for a free consultation: (415) 877-4486
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