California DUI Laws

In the state of California, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense. All DUI penalties in California include interlock and the assessments, fees, and fines could cost you thousands of dollars. California also has a zero tolerance law for DUI as a teen. Even if a police officer smells alcohol on your breath, you will be charged with a DUI. 

What is the blood alcohol concentration level (BAC) limit in the state of California?

In the state of California, it is a crime to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration level (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Sentence enhancements exist for cases involving a BAC of 0.15% or higher. 

In the state of California what is the administrative license suspension period for a first offense?

In the state of California, if you get arrested for DUI, the administrative license suspension time for a first offense is 4 months. Under administrative license suspension, the drivers’ license will be taken before conviction when he either fails or refuses to be tested for alcohol or drugs. During the 4 month revocation period, the driver may obtain a limited license, according to Bratton Law

In the state of California, what are the penalties for a first DUI offense? Second offense?


In the state of California, all penalties include interlock. For a first DUI offense, you will spend four hours in jail and 4 months without a license. You will have to do 2 days community service, take a 15 week DUI class, spend 3 years on probation, and 7 years with two points on your driving record. Assessments, fees, and fines will total $5,300. For a second DUI offense, you will have mandatory jail time of 10 days to one year on jail along with an 18-month license suspension. You will have to enroll in a 18-30 month alcohol/drug program, you will spend 48 hours to one year in jail. You will have to drive on a work restricted license for the length of the alcohol/drug program. An interlocking device will be installed on your vehicle for 18 months. 

For a third offense, your license will be suspended for 3 years and you will have to enroll in an 18-month alcohol/drug program — if you have not taken one before. A third offense also carries a mandatory jail sentence of 120 days to a year. Sentence enhancement laws will apply if you were driving 20 mph over the speed limit, if a child under 14 was in the car at the time of the offense, if you refuse to submit to chemical testing, and if you had a prior conviction within the last 10 years.

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