DUI Punishments in California

When a driver in California is charged with a DUI, they are being charged with the crime of driving under the influence of alcohol. Since there is such a high potential for damage to the charged driver, other people that the driver may be around and property that could potentially be harmed by a drunk driver, the penalties for being convicted of this crime are swift, detailed and expensive. They are in fact life-altering but can be avoided if the conviction is avoided or if the case is dismissed based on some technical detail that the average citizen may not be aware of.

Those who are convicted of a DUI can serve anywhere from 96 hours to 6 months in jail for the punishment for first DUI in California. They can also look forward to a minimum of a mandatory 6 months of driver’s license suspension as the state of California takes the stance that driving is a privilege, not a right and as such, must be done responsibly. To avoid conviction, the driver will have to prove that they are a responsible driver an innocent of all charges, something that is often a daunting task.

To be sure that the driver understands his or her responsibilities as a driver and the impact that a DUI has, the driver will also be required to complete a DUI program. If they do manage to get a restricted license that enables them to drive to and from work, something that is entirely dependent on the will of the judge overseeing the case, it’s quite likely that the driver will need to install an Ignition Interlock Device. This device will prevent the vehicle from starting should the driver have alcohol on their breath. DUI under 21 California punishment is totally different from the one we are talking about.

Even in the judge is feeling generous enough to allow the driver to have a restricted license and even if the driver can afford to have the Ignition Interlock Device installed on their vehicle after they pay to have the vehicle released from impound, there is still the matter of insurance. Any driver who has been convicted of a DUI in the state of California must carry California SR-22 insurance. This is a high-risk form of insurance that is quite costly.

While all of the above DUI punishments in California and expenses are dealt with, the driver will still have to pay a $1,000-$1,600 fine. Keep in mind that the California DUI punishments listed above only apply to first offenders. Also, keep in mind that first offenders may do well to provide the proper evidence that will convince a judge that they have been an ideal citizen up until the arrest and possibly point out any flaws in the procedure of the arrest.

Subsequent offenders will find that the fines, incarceration time and license suspension times will all increase with each offense. Of course, convicted drivers may be successful enough in their legal pleas to be granted a suspended sentence. This only means that the driver must avoid arrest for any other charge, pay the fines and meet all of the other requirements. Failure to do so will result in the implementation of the full length of the original sentence.