DUI or driving under the influence is a criminal offense under California law. This is considered as a priorable offense, which means that punishment increases for every conviction of drunk driving meted out. This priorable period is for a period of ten years from the time of the first offense.

Each offense has a commensurate penalty imposable. The following are the penalties imposable depending on the crime:

a) Misdemeanor DUI, first offense. In this conviction, the imposable penalties include summary probation of up to five (5) years, jail time of up to six (6) months in county jail, payment of fines of up to $1,000, attendance in a court mandated alcohol/drug education program and ten month driving privilege suspension;

b) Misdemeanor DUI, second offense. In this second conviction, if committed within ten years from the first offense, would mete out up to five (5) years summary probation, maximum of one (1) year in county jail, payment of fines amounting to $1,000, completion of thirty (30) months court mandated DUI school and suspension of driving privileges of up to two (2) years;

c) Misdemeanor DUI, third offense. In this third conviction within ten (10) years of the first offense, the imposable penalties are up to five (5) years summary probation, maximum of one (1) year in county jail, payment of up to $1,000 in fines, thirty (30) months of DUI education program, three (3) year driving privilege suspension and designation as a “habitual traffic offender” by the DMV;

If the misdemeanor DUI results in injury, the imposable penalties are up to five (5) years summary probation, up to one (1) year in county jail, payment of fines of up to $5,000, up to thirty (30) months alcohol program attendance, three (3) year driver’s license restriction and restitution of all injured parties;

If the felony DUI results in injury, the imposable penalties are as follows:

a) Ten (10) years in state prison with an additional and consecutive one (1) to six (6) year prison sentence depending upon the number of individual’s injured and the extent of injuries, recording a “strike” under California’s Three Strikes Law, payment of fines of up to $5,000, up to thirty (30) months alcohol/drug program, registry as a Habitual Traffic Offender for three (3) years and restitution of all parties injured;

b) Felony DUI, first offense. The imposable penalties are up to three (3) years in California State Prison, payment of up to $1,000 in fines, driver’s license revocation for four (4) years and designation as a habitual traffic offender in the DMV;

Under California DUI laws, the probation imposed would include conditions, which are as follows:

  1. The convicted individual would not be allowed to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in your blood;
  2. The accused would not be allowed to refuse to submit a chemical test of your blood, breath or rare cases urine if arrested for a subsequent DUI arrest;
  3. The accused is not allowed to commit any additional crimes during the pendency of the probation;

The following are other conditions that may be imposed:

  1. Attendance in Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings;
  2. Participation in Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Victim Impact Program;
  3. Restitution for damage and other injuries resulting from the accident;
  4. Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device on vehicles for a period of four (4) years;

The imposable penalties for the crime of driving under the influence are serious matters in California. Should you be or know anyone undergoing this process, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.