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Legal consequences for California DUI

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2021 | Drunk Driving

Charges of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can result in serious legal consequences in California. The state has established minimum sentences that include license suspension, fines and even jail time. DUI charges apply to drivers arrested with blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher.

Review the possible consequences for California DUI if you face this type of charge.

License suspension

If you have no history of DUI, you could receive a license suspension for at least six months if convicted. This increases to two years if you have a second DUI within 10 years of the first conviction. For a third DUI, you could receive a three-year license suspension. In addition, you must install an ignition interlock device at your own expense after a second or third DUI.

Fines and fees

The base fine for a DUI is $390 in California regardless of prior convictions. However, the state will also charge administrative fees that require you to pay thousands of dollars in costs if convicted.

Jail time

Because DUI constitutes a misdemeanor offense in California, many drivers qualify for probation. For those who do not, the minimum jail sentence is 48 hours for a first DUI, 96 hours for a second DUI and 120 hours for a third DUI within the same decade.

In addition to these penalties, the state may require mandatory DUI education for at least 30 hours. In some cases, you may be eligible for a hearing to receive a restricted driver’s license, which allows you to travel to work and school only.