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DWI Penalties

Penalties for a California DUI are steep enough to make "normal life" seem like a distant memory, even if it's only your first offense. For example, consider the following: if it's your first time being convicted of a DUI, you can expect:

  • A fine ranging between $390 and $1,000.
  • Possible jail time- anywhere from 96 hours to 6 months, although you may get probation.
  • Court ordered alcohol education classes, with the length of the classes dependant on your BAC at the time you were arrested. If it was below .2, you can expect 3 months of classes totaling 30 hours. If it was higher than .2 or you also got violated the implied consent law, you're going to spend at least 45 hours over the next 6 months in alcohol education classes.
  • An administrative license suspension of up to 6 months.
  • After the administrative license suspension is over, you will have a restricted license for the next 90 days, and you will only be able to go to and from work.
  • Your vehicle may be impounded for 1-30 days.
  • 3-5 years probation, if you are lucky.


Yikes...All of that is just for the first offense! If that doesn't make the taste of beer go sour in your mouth, check out the penalties for a second offense within 7 years:

  • Jail time: 90 days to one year. Even if you get probation, expect to spend at least 96 hours in the county slammer.
  • Fine: $390 to $1000.
  • Court-ordered alcohol education, to last either 18 or 30 months.
  • An administrative license suspension of two years.
  • The option to get a restricted license only if you also have an ignition interlock device placed on your vehicle. You will pay for the device and maintenance.
  • Your vehicle could be impounded for 1-30 days.
  • 3-5 years probation.

 

Now let’s look at what happens on strike number 3…

  • Jail time: 120 days to one year. Even if you get probation, expect to spend at least 120 days in the county slammer.
  • Fine: $390 to $1000.
  • Court-ordered alcohol education, to last either 18 or 30 months.
  • Your driver’s license will be revoked for three years.
  • A habitual traffic offender designation for the next 3 years.
  • Your vehicle could be impounded for 1-30 days.
  • 3-5 years probation.

 

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