Penalties- Sentence Enhancements

Aggravating Factors that may Increase Your California DUI Sentence

DUI Sentence enhancements are common in many cases.  The following factors will result in DUI sentence enhancements of your penalty, irrespective of whether you have any priors or no previous criminal record.  Common enhancements include:

  • DUI High BAC-  If you have a BAC of 0.15 or higher expect 6 months of DUI school in some counties and increased work release or jail time in almost all counties.  If you have a BAC of 0.20 or higher you will have to do additional jail or work release time, and your DUI school commitment is increased to nine months. dui high bac
  • DUI Refusal:  A DUI refusal occurs whenever a driver refuses to give either a “chemical” blood or breath test.  This is usually offered to you at the police station.  If you refuse to comply with the request for a chemical blood or breath test, then you are facing a hard one-year loss of your license in addition to the suspension for the DUI itself.  Jail time or work release is usually increased by statute as well.
  • Accidents:  If you cause an accident, or otherwise demonstrate bad driving that endangers the lives of others expect a harsher sentence.
  • DUI Speeding:  This is another big one.  If you are driving 20 miles over the posted speed limit on a city street or 30 miles per hour over the posted on a freeway, you are facing 60 days straight time in jail.  DUI speeding is one of the harder DUI sentence enhancements because this sentence is not work release eligible in most counties.  You have to do the time in jail.
  • Child Endangerment:  If there is a child 14 years or younger in the car while you are DUI then you will be charged with violating the Child Endangerment Law as set forth in California Penal Code Section 273(a).  Child endangerment can affect you if you are in a custody fight, and it can result in scrutiny from Child Protective Services.
  • Driving under the age of 21:  Expect additional time on work release if you are under the age of 21.  If you are under 18 you will be sent to juvenile court.

The type of enhanced penalty that you will receive because of a DUI sentence enhancement is going to depend on (a) your BAC, (b) the factors surrounding your arrest and (c) your criminal history especially as it relates to driving and driving under the influence.