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What Are the Penalties for DUI in California?

Posted By The Law Office of Nors Davidson || 20-May-2013

Driving under the influence is a serious offense in California, and to discourage individuals from driving and driving, the state imposes harsh penalties. If you are convicted of operating your vehicle with a BAC of .08% or higher, sentencing for your offense will depend upon your driving record and the involvement of any aggravating factors in the incident.

1st DUI
Although a first time offense for drunk driving is a misdemeanor, conviction can still result in harsh penalties. Sentencing can include:

  • Incarceration in county jail for a maximum of 6 months
  • Fines between $390 to $1,000
  • Driver's license suspension for 6 to 10 months
  • Summary probation for 3 to 5 years
  • Mandatory completion of a court-approved 3 or 9 month alcohol education program

2nd DUI
A second drunk driving offense will be charged as a misdemeanor, and conviction for this crime is punishable by:

  • Incarceration in county jail for a minimum of 96 hours to a maximum of 1 year
  • Fines between $390 to $1,000
  • Driver's license suspension for 2 years
  • Summary probation for 3 to 5 years
  • Mandatory completion of a court-approved 18 month to 30 month alcohol education program

3rd DUI
A third DUI within 10 years will be charged as a misdemeanor offense, and if convicted your sentence could include:

  • Incarceration in county jail for a minimum of 120 days to a maximum of 1 year
  • Fines between $390 to $1,000
  • Driver's license revocation for 3 years
  • Mandatory completion of a court approved 30 month alcohol education program
  • DMV designation as a habitual traffic offender (HTO)

4+ DUI
If you commit four or more DUIs within a 10 year period, the offense will be charged as a felony crime. Conviction for felony DUI is punishable by:

  • Incarceration in state prison for 16 months to 3 years
  • Fines between $390 to $1,000
  • Driver's license revocation for 4 years
  • DMV designation as a HTO

Misdemeanor DUI with Injury
If you are charged with a misdemeanor offense of DUI causing injury, conviction can result in such penalties as:

  • Incarceration in county jail for a minimum of 5 days to a maximum of 1 year
  • Fines between $390 to $5,000
  • Driver's license restriction for 1 to 3 years
  • Mandatory completion of a court-approved 3 to 30 month alcohol education program
  • Restitution to all injured victims

Felony DUI with Injury
If you are convicted of a felony count of DUI with injury, sentencing can include:

  • Incarceration in state prison for 16 months to 10 years
  • Fines between $1,015 to $5,000
  • Mandatory completion of a court-approved 18 to 30 month alcohol education program
  • DMV designation as a HTO for 3 years
  • Restitution to all injured victims
  • Possible strike on your record under California's Three Strikes law

The penalties for drunk driving are severe no matter your prior record or the circumstances involved in the incident. In light of the serious repercussions a DUI conviction will have upon your life, it is important to enlist the defense of the experienced San Francisco DUI attorney at The Law Office of Nors Davidson as soon as possible. Call our team today!

Categories: DUI, DUI Defense, DUI Penalties