California DUI Laws – DUI Penalties in California
If you are arrested for a DUI in California, get ready to call your lawyer and break out the checkbook. This state boasts some of the heaviest fines and penalties in the country for anyone convicted of a DUI.
Consequences for Refusing to Take Chemical Tests
In California, you can refuse to take the chemical tests, but this state does have in implied consent law, so you will be fined and face a license suspension as listed below:
- First offense – one-year license suspension
- Second offense – two-year license suspension
- Third offense – three-year license suspension
Challenging BAC Levels in Court
While not a zero tolerance state for under-21, California does have a lower BAC than normal for underage drivers.
- Drivers that are 21 years or older, .08 percent
- Drivers under the age of 21, .01 percent (zero tolerance for under-18)
- Commercial drivers, .04 percent
Is There Mandatory Jail Time Required for a DUI in California?
California does require mandatory jail sentences for all convictions. Minimum stays are slightly longer here than in most states.
- First time offenders – minimum of four days and a maximum of six months in jail
- Second time offenders – minimum of 10 days and a maximum of one year in jail
- Third time offenders – minimum of 120 days and a maximum of one year in jail
Monetary Fines and Penalties for DUI in California
First and fourth time offenders face a significantly higher fine in California than most other states:
- First offense – up to $1,000 fine
- Second offense – up to $1,800
- Third offense – up to $1,800
- Fourth offense (within 10 months of last violation) – up to $18,000
License Suspension for DUI in California
Any DUI violation will result in a license suspension in the state of California:
- First offense – minimum of 30 days with a maximum sentence of 10 months
- Second offense – two-year suspension (this can be reduced to one year)
- Third offense – mandatory three-year suspension
- Fourth offense (within 10 months of last violation) – mandatory four-year suspension
IID installation is required for all repeat offenses. Some counties in California will also require an IID installation for first-time offenders
Finding a DUI Attorney in California
California does not look kindly on DUI arrests and, therefore, you should take every precaution when facing these charges in court. With heavy fines and penalties, especially for first time offenders, you want to give yourself the best chance of winning your case, which means you will need a skilled California DUI attorney. Please fill out the Free DUI Arrest Evaluation Form to have a professional review your specific arrest details.