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

Penalties- Second Offense

DUI Penalties California- Second Offense:  A second offense is a more serious charge than a first, but be reassured- unless there is something about your case that is special, you should not have to do jail time.  Almost all DUI penalties California Second Offense can be done in the Sheriff’s Alternative Work program.

  • Suspension of license:  Prior to January 1, 2011, any person who got two DUI convictions, or license suspensions, within 10 years suffered a one-year hard suspension.   That has changed.  Second offenders can now get a restricted license after a 90 day hard suspension provided that they install an ignition interlock device on their car.  So instead of waiting for one year to get a license, you can be back on the road in 91 days provided (a) you have proof of enrollment on file with the DV showing you are attending an 18 month DUI program, (b) you have an SR-22 (proof of insurance for three years), (c) you have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on every car that you are driving.  The IID device will stay on your car for one year.
  • DUI School:  As noted above, all second offenders have to complete an 18 month Multiple Offenders Program.  This is not negotiable.
  • Sheriff Work Program:  Providing that you are placed on probation, the court is required to sentence you to a minimum of four days of work release.  How many days you actually do depends on the judge, the D.A. and the allegations in the police report (especially with reference to your BAC and your driving).
  • Fines:  Slightly more than a first offense.  Generally the fines for a second offense run around $2,000.  You can usually make payments of $75 a month with a small (usually $35) one-time processing fee.
  • Probation:  Three years court (informal) probation, if your case is not unusual.  Some counties, notably Monterey, will impose five years of informal probation in a second offender case.