Consequences of a California DUI Conviction
A DUI conviction can have significant and long-lasting consequences, including substantial fines, license suspension, jail time, higher insurance costs, and more.
First DUI Conviction Penalties
Assuming a first misdemeanor DUI offense does not result in injury or death, the minimum penalties are:
• $1,800 in fines and assessments
• 48-hour jail sentence or a 90-day license restriction that allows you to only drive to and from work and an alcohol treatment program. If this restriction is imposed, it begins after the 4-month suspension by the DMV.
• Completion of a $500, 3-month alcohol treatment program, or 9 months if your BAC was 0.20% or higher.
• Suspended driver’s license for at least 30 days followed by either a 2-month or 5-month restriction.
The maximum penalties for a first DUI conviction include more than $2,600 in fines and assessments, up to six months in jail, a six-month driver’s license suspension, a 10-month suspension for a BAC of 0.15% or more, vehicle impoundment at your expense for 30 days, and installation of an IID at your expense.
Second DUI Conviction Penalties
A second DUI conviction within 10 years of the first DUI that does not result in injury or death carries the following minimum penalties:
• $1,800 in fines and assessments
• 10 days or 96 hours in jail
• An 18-month or 30-month second offender alcohol treatment program that costs about $1,800.
• Installation of an interlock ignition device at your expense.
• 1-year license suspension followed by a two-year license restriction.
Maximum penalties include up to $3,000 in fines, up to 1 year in jail, a two-year license suspension by the DMV, and vehicle impoundment for 30 days at your expense.
Third and Subsequent DUI Convictions
Third and subsequent DUI convictions in California that do not result in injury or death have the following minimum penalties:
• $1,800 in fines and penalties
• 120 days in jail for a 3rd offense and 180 days for a 4th or subsequent offense
• Revocation of your license for 3 years for a third offense and 4 years for a 4th offense
• 30-month multi offender program to get your driver’s license back
You can face up to $18,000 in fines and assessments for a 3rd or subsequent DUI conviction in California, 1 year in jail for a third offense, 16 months in state prison for a 4th offense (if charged as a felony), vehicle impoundment for 90 days at your expense, and vehicle forfeiture.
Felony DUI Conviction Penalties
A DUI in California can be charged as a felony if:
• Your DUI resulted in injury or death to someone else
• You have 3 or more prior DUIs or wet reckless convictions on your record within the last 10 years
• You have at least 1 prior felony DUI conviction
A felony DUI conviction is punishable by up to 3 years in state prison, a 4-year license suspension, and 18 or 30 months of an alcohol treatment program. You will also be designated as an HTO (habitual traffic offender) by the DMV.
California DUIs that result in death are also sentenced very differently as the penalty can lead to lifetime imprisonment and a strike under California’s Three Strikes law.
Most people convicted of a first or subsequent DUI are placed on probation for 3-5 years. If you violate the terms of the probation, you will face a hearing with additional penalties that may be applied. Probation generally requires: not driving with any measurable alcohol in your blood, submitting to a PAS test upon request of a police officer, and refraining from further violations of the law.
Ignition Interlock Device Requirement
In 2016, a new bill was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown that requires most people convicted of a DUI install an ignition interlock device that prevents driving while intoxicated. This bill expanded the 4-county pilot program requiring the in-vehicle Breathalyzers and it will go into effect in January 2019. An ignition interlock device or IID is required in many circumstances:
• First DUI offense involving an injury requires an IID for 6 months
• First non-injury DUI offense allows the offender to choose an IID for 6 months with full driving privileges or a 1-year restricted license for work only with a treatment program
• Second DUI offense requires an IID for 12 months
• Third DUI offense requires an IID for 24 months
• Fourth and subsequent DUIs require an IID for 3 years
People convicted of a DUI must pay for the IID installation. The device costs between $60 and $80 per month along with a $70 to $150 installation fee.
Car Insurance After a DUI
Another consequence of a DUI conviction in California is your insurance company may cancel your policy or increase your premium when it is up for renewal. Your insurance company does not need to be informed of the DUI, but they will find out when they check your driving record when you are up for renewal or applying for new coverage or when the DMV requires that you get an SR-22, a certificate of insurance that confirms you meet the minimum liability insurance coverage in California.
A DUI will almost certainly cause your insurance premiums to go up potentially by as much as 30%. Along with the DUI on your record, you will also need an SR-22 which requires paying more for coverage because you are now classified as a high-risk driver. SR-22 coverage costs between $300 and $800 per year and it’s not offered by all insurance companies. People convicted of a DUI generally need an SR-22 for 3 years.
Contact a Los Angeles DUI Attorney
A DUI conviction can be devastating and the cost astronomical. If you are facing a DUI charge in California, it’s important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible to begin building your defense and seek to have the charge dismissed or reduced. Contact Soliman Law Group today for a free consultation with an experienced DUI defense attorney in Los Angeles to discuss your case.