California doesn’t fool around when it comes to driving while drunk. A first offence leads to up to $2,000 in fines and assessments, up to 48 hours in jail, license suspension of up to six months, forced use of an ignition interlock device, and potential alcohol education and treatment.
Things only get worse if you are arrested for DUI a second time. If you are caught driving while intoxicated within 10 years of the first offense, your penalties get substantially more harsh:
- Fines and fees increase well past $3,000
- Between four days and one year of prison time
- Loss of license for up to two years
- Mandatory alcohol education and treatment
- Vehicle confiscation
- Mandatory ignition interlock
- DUI classes that range from 18 to 30 months
- Caught driving while registering more than 0.01 percent BAC while on probation or refuse to take a BAC test.
Aggravating factors can affect your second DUI charge including getting into an accident, driving on a suspended license, having a minor in the car, refusing a chemical test, speeding or having a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher.
In addition, if your DUI involved severe physical pain or death to someone else, it could count under California’s Three Strikes Law that inflicts harsher penalties on people with prior felony convictions.
1,000 arrested, 22 killed over Labor Day weekend
The California Highway Patrol reported that 1,086 people were arrested for DUI and 22 people died in DUI crashes over the 2018 Labor Day weekend.
While those numbers were consistent with 2016 and 2017, the three years are a significant drop from the 1,226 DUI arrests in 2015. Officials named DUI awareness campaigns and the increase in ride sharing as reasons for the drop.