Penalties- First Offense

DUI Penalties California- First Offense: 

A first offense DUI is treated more leniently that some expect.  The main problems are the license suspension, the expense and the nuisance (that is sheriff work).  That is what makes a first offense DUI a headache.  But you are not going to jail!  Know that up front.  Nobody goes to jail for a first offense DUI.  Not unless you want to.

  • Jail– Currently, a first offense is punishable by a jail sentence of up to a maximum of 6 months but it never happens.  Instead you will do sheriff work (8 hours picking up trash at your local park).
  • Fines-In addition to either jail time or probation, there is also a fine which in most counties is around $2000.
  • License Suspension and DUI School– In addition to jail and/or probation and fines, a suspension of your driver’s license of up to 6 months will be imposed but you are entitled to a six month restricted license.  Attendance at a state-approved DUI school for three months will be required. If your blood alcohol level is 0.20% or higher, this will be increased to nine months.  A BAC of 0.15 or higher (but less than 0.20) will get you six months DUI school in some counties.
  • Other– Depending on the judge that you get, you may also be required to perform community service, install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your car, and attend “victim’s panels” or Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
  • Probation– The usual period of probation (informal in most cases) is three years. Probation is typically informal meaning that you do not have to check in with a probation officer or be subjected to surprise visits by a probation officer. You will be subjected to “zero tolerance” rules for the three years of probation, and you must submit to a PAS (roadside breath) test on request by an officer.  Oh, and obey all laws.  Additional terms of probation are up to the individual judge.  DUI Penalties California