California DUI Laws & Drunk Driving Penalties

Overview of the penalties upon conviction of DUI in California

Outlines the consequences when charged and convicted of DUI (driving under the influence) in the state of California. Including legal BAC limits, fines, jail times, IID requirements, suspension/revocation periods and SR22 insurance requirements for first time and repeat offenders with multiple DUI's.

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Drunk Driving Laws by State



California Drunk Driving Laws & BAC Limits

Interstate Drivers License Compact (DLC)

California is a member of the interstate drivers license compact, an agreement between member states to share information about drivers license suspensions and traffic violations such as DUI / DWI / Drunk Driving. Charges for violations in California against any non-residents will be shared with the drivers home state and vice versa.

The course of action taken by the drivers home state will be determined by that particular state's legislature.

If you've been charged with DUI in California, the law allows only 10 days for a California DUI Lawyer to make a request with the California DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) for a hearing to help save your drivers license.

Maximum Legal BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) Limits in California

Anyone found driving with alcohol levels exceeding the the legal limits set out below will be classed as driving under the influence and will be charged with the appropriate offense.

ADULT DRIVERS - BAC LIMIT = 0.08%
In the state of California it is an offense for adult drivers to drive any regular motor vehicle with 0.08% or more, by weight, of alcohol in his/her blood.

COMMERCIAL DRIVERS - BAC LIMIT = 0.04%
In the state of California it is an offense for drivers to drive any motor vehicle that requires a commercial drivers license with 0.04% or more, by weight, of alcohol in his/her blood.

DRIVERS UNDER 21 - BAC LIMIT = 0.01%
In the state of California it is an offense for drivers under the age of 21 to drive any motor vehicle with 0.01% or more, by weight, of alcohol in his/her blood as measured by a chemical test or preliminary alcohol screening test.

It is also an offense to refuse to submit to a chemical test in California and implied consent laws are enforced.


California DUI Penalties

California is a state with a 10 year 'washout period' also known as a 'look back period'.

NOTE: Probation
The exact minimum lengths of any imprisonment and programs a person must serve/complete will depend if they are granted probation or not. The ranges shown below take this into account. Minimum periods will be longer if no probation is granted.


First DUI Offense / Conviction - Misdemeanor

The penalty upon conviction of a first DUI offense in California:

  • Fines: $390 to $1,000
  • Imprisonment: 96 hours to 6 months in county jail (of which 48 hours shall be continuous)
  • Drivers License Suspension: 6 months drivers license suspension
    • Restricted Drivers License: may be available before suspension period ends IF driver submits proof of enrollment in or completion of driving under the influence program AND submits proof of financial responsibility AND pays all applicable license reinstatement fees
  • Ignition Interlock: May be required to install a certified ignition interlock device (IID) on all vehicles owned and/or operated for up to 3 years from the date of conviction
  • Attendance at driving under the influence program for at least 3 months
  • CA SR22 Insurance (proof of financial responsibility) Requirement

Second DUI Offense / Conviction - Misdemeanor

The penalty upon conviction of a second DUI offense in California:

  • Fines: $390 to $1,000
  • Imprisonment: 96 hours to 1 year in county jail (of which 48 hours shall be continuous)
  • Drivers License Suspension: 2 years drivers license suspension
    • Restricted Drivers License: may be available after 90 days of suspension period has been served IF driver submits proof of enrollment in driving under the influence program AND submits proof of installation of ignition interlock device AND submits proof of financial responsibility AND pays all applicable license reinstatement fees
  • Ignition Interlock: May be required to install a certified ignition interlock device (IID) on all vehicles owned and/or operated for up to 3 years from the date of conviction
  • Completion of driving under the influence program
  • CA SR22 Insurance (proof of financial responsibility) Requirement

Third DUI Offense / Conviction - Misdemeanor

The penalty upon conviction of a third DUI offense in California:

Will be designated as an habitual traffic offender for a period of 3 years subsequent to conviction.

  • Fines: $390 to $1,000
  • Imprisonment: 30 days to 1 year in county jail (of which 48 hours shall be continuous)
  • Drivers License Revocation: 3 years drivers license revocation
    • Restricted Drivers License: may be available after 6 months of revocation period has been served IF driver submits proof of enrollment in driving under the influence program AND submits proof of installation of ignition interlock device AND submits proof of financial responsibility AND pays all applicable license reinstatement fees

Possible 10 year drivers license revocation
Any driver convicted of three or more DUI violations within a 10 year period may be liable to be issued with a 10 years drivers license revocation.


Fourth (and Subsequent) DUI Offense / Conviction - FELONY

The penalty upon conviction of a fourth or subsequent DUI offense in California:

Will be designated as an habitual traffic offender for a period of 3 years subsequent to conviction.

  • Fines: $390 to $1,000
  • Imprisonment: 180 days to 1 year in county jail OR up to 3 years in state penitentiary (depending on previous convictions)
  • Drivers License Revocation: 4 years drivers license revocation
    • Restricted Drivers License: may be available after 12 months of revocation period has been served IF driver submits proof of enrollment in and completion of at least 12 months of the driving under the influence program AND submits proof of installation of ignition interlock device AND submits proof of financial responsibility AND pays all applicable license reinstatement fees

Possible 10 year drivers license revocation
Any driver convicted of three or more DUI violations within a 10 year period may be liable to be issued with a 10 years drivers license revocation.


† 10 Year Drivers License Revocations for Three or More Violations
Sentencing courts will consider revoking the drivers license of any repeat offender who has been convicted of three of more DUI violations within a 10 year period.

Before considering imposing a 10 year revocation the court will consider the following factors:

1) The persons level of remorse for the acts.
2) The period of time that has elapsed since the persons previous convictions.
3) The persons blood alcohol level at the time of the offense / violation
4) The persons participation in an alcohol treatment program.
5) The persons risk to traffic and/or public safety.
6) The persons ability to install a certified ignition interlock device in each motor vehicle the person owns or operates.


Restricted Drivers License
If a persons drivers license is revoked for a period of 10 years then they are able to apply to have their privilege to operate a motor vehicle reinstated after a period of 5 years has expired since the revocation; subject to the condition they must agree to have a verified ignition interlock device installed for a period of two years following license reinstatement.

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Implied Consent (Chemical Testing) Laws

Implied Consent Chemical Testing California

In California any person driving a motor vehicle is deemed to have given their consent for chemical testing of their breath, blood or urine in order to determine the alcohol content within their blood if lawfully arrested for driving under the influence. It is an offense to refuse to submit or fail to complete a blood alcohol test when required to do so.

Penalties for refusing to submit to a chemical test in California

First Chemical Test Refusal

Second Chemical Test Refusal

Third Chemical Test Refusal

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California SR22 Insurance Quotes & Requirements

Compare California Auto Insurance Rates and Save $$$'s California SR22



California SR22 Quote Line

California SR-22 auto insurance is usually required for a period of 3 years after a DUI - drunk driving - alcohol related driving conviction and can be very expensive if you go with the wrong provider. Some insurance companies will not even do an SR22 insurance filing. Get a FREE DUI auto insurance quote and compare rates to find the best deal, simply enter your ZIP code above and you can be comparing prices for California auto insurance in a matter of minutes.

Minimum liability insurance requirements for private passenger vehicles in the state of California

The minimum mandatory liability insurance coverage required in the state of California for private passenger vehicles is (15/30/5). This equates to the following liability coverage:

  • $15,000 bodily injury liability per (BIL) person
  • $30,000 for two or more people in one accident
  • $5,000 property damage liability (PDL) coverage

What is (BIL) Bodily Injury Liability insurance?

(BIL) Bodily Injury Liability insurance coverage will pay for serious and permanent injury or death to other people when a crash is caused by the insured. An auto insurance company will pay for injuries up to the limits specified in an insurance policy and will provide legal representation for the insured in the event someone tries to sue them.

What is (PDL) Property Damage Liability insurance?

(PDL) Property Damage Liability insurance coverage pays for damages an insured driver or members of an insured drivers family cause (and are liable for) to other people's property in a crash involving a motor vehicle.

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CALIFORNIA DUI NEWS

CHP: Officer hit by driver suspected of DUI in Grass Valley - KCRA Sacramento


KCRA Sacramento

CHP: Officer hit by driver suspected of DUI in Grass Valley
KCRA Sacramento
A California Highway Patrol officer who was hit by an accused DUI driver was released from the hospital overnight and is back home recovery from his injuries, the CHP said Tuesday. Related. California residents to learn of... Woman's body cut up ...
CHP Officer Hurt After Suspected DUI Driver Rams Patrol Vehicle Near Grass ValleyFOX40
CHP officer hurt in collision with suspected DUI driver in Grass ValleySacramento Bee
Four injured in alleged DUI crash on Highway 43Hanford Sentinel

all 37 news articles »

Tue, 03 May 2016 13:41:06 GMT


DUI driver hits disabled car in Willowbrook, killing woman - KABC-TV


KABC-TV

DUI driver hits disabled car in Willowbrook, killing woman
KABC-TV
California Highway Patrol officials investigate a fatal two-car collision on the westbound 105 Freeway near Central Avenue Thursday, April 28, 2016. KABC. By ABC7.com staff. Thursday, April 28, 2016 10:34AM. SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) --.
Woman Killed in Suspected DUI Crash in WillowbrookPatch.com

all 78 news articles »

Thu, 28 Apr 2016 12:24:56 GMT


Charter bus driver charged with DUI during California high school band trip - Observer-Reporter


Observer-Reporter

Charter bus driver charged with DUI during California high school band trip
Observer-Reporter
A charter bus driver transporting students from California Area High School was charged last week in Tennessee with driving under the influence and drug offenses after drugs were allegedly found in his possession during a vehicle inspection.
Bus Driver Arrested For DUI During Band Trip To TennesseeCBS Local

all 3 news articles »

Tue, 26 Apr 2016 23:21:23 GMT


Canyon Lake Woman, 6-Year-Old Boy Die in DUI-Related I-15 Rollover: CHP - Patch.com


Patch.com

Canyon Lake Woman, 6-Year-Old Boy Die in DUI-Related I-15 Rollover: CHP
Patch.com
RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CA- A Canyon Lake woman and a young boy both died in a weekend DUI-related crash off northbound Interstate 15 while another young girl was also injured, CHP officials reported Monday. According to California Highway Patrol ...
I-15 CRASH: Canyon Lake woman, boy identified as victims; driver suspected of DUIPress-Enterprise

all 3 news articles »

Mon, 25 Apr 2016 21:18:01 GMT


Oakland police apologize, pull plug on Cinco de Mayo DUI patrols - San Jose Mercury News


Breitbart News

Oakland police apologize, pull plug on Cinco de Mayo DUI patrols
San Jose Mercury News
He's helping organize a Cinco de Mayo event called "The State of Latinos in California," at LinkedIn in San Francisco. Oakland chef Dominica Rice-Cisneros ?is also pushing back against perceptions of the fifth of May. "It gives people an excuse to drink ...
Oakland cops sorry for 'insensitive' Cinco de Mayo press releaseSFGate
Oakland Police Issue PC Apology for Drunk Driving WarningBreitbart News
DUI patrols planned for Cinco de MayoThe Turlock Journal
The Salinas Californian -Napa Valley Register
all 262 news articles »

Wed, 04 May 2016 01:32:37 GMT


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Cities in California

Counties in California

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