Penalties for DUI in California

Consequences for Drunk Driving in San Diego

DUI penalties vary from state to state. California has severe penalties for those convicted of driving under the influence, including jail time, probation, fines, substance abuse counseling, classes, community service, and more. These penalties will mainly depend upon whether this is your first, second, third or subsequent offense and what your BAC was at the time of the arrest.

A skilled San Diego DUI attorney is your only bet if you would like to avoid maximum penalties and have a chance of having your charges dropped. By retaining our firm, you get 30+ years of experience behind your case, counsel from a former police detective, and proven defense.


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Penalties for a First DUI Offense:

  • Between 48 hours and 6 months in jail
  • Up to a $1,000 fine plus penalty assessments
  • A six-month licenses suspension, or longer based on BAC
  • Vehicle impoundment for up to 30 days
  • Community service requirements

Penalties for a Second DUI Offense:

  • Between 10 days and 1 year in jail
  • Up to a $3,000 in total fines and penalty assessments
  • A two-year license suspension by the DMV or longer
  • Probation and possible alcohol treatment enrollment
  • Community service requirements
  • Potential ignition interlock device installation

Penalties for a Third DUI Offense:

  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • $5,000 in penalties plus up to $13,00 in penalty assessments
  • 120 days to 1 year in jail
  • Revocation of your driver's license for three years
  • 30-mnoth alcohol treatment program
  • Community service requirements
  • Ignition interlock device installation

Enhanced DUI Penalties in California

You will receive enhanced penalties for a DUI conviction if:

  • You refused blood or breath tests to determine your BAC
  • Your DUI caused an accident which resulted in injury or death
  • You were speeding excessively
  • You had a passenger under the age of 14 in the car with you
  • Your blood alcohol level was over 0.15%.

About an Ignition Interlock Device

With a DUI conviction, you may often expedite reinstatement of your license with installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in your car. When is an ignition interlock device required? It can be used as a condition of license reinstatement, when a persona is charged with driving on a suspended license, and when an individual is convicted of a second or third DUI offense.

A device the size of a cell phone, it is attached by a dealer to your dashboard and wired to your ignition. It contains a breathalyzer that you must blow into to start your car. If you register too high, the car will not start. As you drive, the device will periodically call for you to blow again into the breathalyzer. If you flunk, it will notify you to stop the car and record the violation. If you fail to stop, it will cause the car to make annoying sounds and flashing lights.

Contact Our San Diego DUI Lawyer for a Free Consult

At JD Law, clients receive help in obtaining reinstatement of their driver's licenses. Our lead San Diego criminal defense attorney is one of the few Board Certified Criminal Law Specialists in the state. He is experienced in seeking shorter periods of suspension for clients with installation of ignition interlock devices. He is often called on to lecture fellow attorneys at criminal defense seminars on DUI defense. If you were arrested for DUI, you are urged to contact the firm for a free initial consultation.

By working with a San Diego DUI lawyer, such as James N. Dicks, you will have the chance to receive alternative or lessened penalties. If we can, we will work to have your charges dropped altogether and your case dismissed. In all the cases our founding attorney takes on, he works tirelessly to defend his clients' rights to keep them from facing the maximum penalties for their DUI charge.

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