What are the Penalties for Drunk Driving in California?

Drunk Driving

Drinking and driving is the leading cause of death in California. The penalties for drunk driving vary from state to state. One example of what might be a penalty for drunk driving in California is that your license will be suspended automatically, and you will have to pay fines and court costs. Find out more about what is the penalty for drunk driving in California might be in this article!

Drunk Driving

Penalties for Drunk Driving in California?

The penalties for drunk driving in California may vary depending on your state and the type of crime. Drunk driving is usually charged as a misdemeanor but can be charged as a felony, leading to fines, loss of license, and jail time.

California has strict drunk driving laws and penalties for those who break them. If you are caught driving under the influence with a BAC of 0.08% or more, you can face up to six months to a year in jail and fines that range from $390 to $1,000.

In California, drinking driving can result in severe penalties. If a driver has been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they may have faced different penalties for a DUI.

If the driver has committed the first offense of driving under the influence of alcohol, that counts as a first DUI. And if the driver has committed a second offense within 10 years after the first DUI, it is considered a second DUI.

If the driver has committed another DUI offense within the last 10 years, it will be counted as the third or fourth DUI (in order of DUI committed earlier), and this fine depends on the type of DUI the driver has committed.

Fines for Drunken Driving

First Offense

If your sentence includes a probation period of 3-5 years:

• Complete the alcohol and drug treatment program.
• You must pay the penalty of $390 to $1000(at the court’s discretion).
• You can follow either A or B:

A: Minimum jail time 48 hours/ Maximum jail time 6 months and license suspended for 6 months
B: Driving License suspended for 90 days

Second Offense

If your sentence includes a probation period of 3-5 years:

• You must pay the penalty of $390 to $1000(at the court’s discretion).
• You can follow either A or B:

A: minimum jail time 10 days/ Maximum jail time 1 year and license suspended for 1 year
B: Minimum jail time 96 hours / Maximum jail time 1 year, drug and alcohol treatment program for 18 to 30 months, and licensed suspension.

If your sentence doesn’t include a probation period:

• Minimum Jail time of 90 days/ Maximum jail time of 1 year
• You must pay the penalty of $390 to $1000(at the court’s discretion).
• License suspended for 1 year.

Third Offense

If your sentence includes a probation period of 3-5 years:

• You must pay the penalty of $390 to $1000 (at the court’s discretion).
• Minimum jail time of 120 days/ Maximum jail time of 1 year
• Licensed suspended for 3 years
• Drug and alcohol treatment program for 18 to 30 months

If your sentence doesn’t include a probation period:

• Minimum jail time of 120 days/ Maximum jail time of 1 year
• You must pay the penalty of $390 to $1000(at the court’s discretion).
• Licensed suspended for 3 years

Fourth Offense

If your sentence includes a probation period of 3-5 years:

• You must pay the penalty of $390 to $1000(at the court’s discretion).
• Minimum jail time of 180 days/1-year maximum jail time
• Licensed suspended for 4 years
• Drug and alcohol treatment program for 18 to 30 months (if not complete in past offenses)

If your sentence doesn’t include a probation period:

• Jail time 6 months minimum / 3 years maximum
• You must pay the penalty of $390 to $1000(at the court’s discretion).
• License suspended for 4 years.

Note – The court can order installing an interlock device on your car (who accepted that he is already in a felony DUI) that is hard to avoid, and this device can shut off the car engine if you are drunk.

Felony DUI Charges

DUIs Involving Deaths or Injuries

DUI Injuries – If you are charged with DUI, the severity of punishment will depend on the injury caused by your DUI. Deliberately injuring someone with a DUI penalty is considered a felony and is tried in Courtrooms in California. And conviction could result in 16 months to four years in prison and fines up to $390 to $5,000.

DUI Deaths – In California, a DUI offender who caused the death of another person is typically prosecuted under the state’s manslaughter or murder laws. In cases like this, defendants can be charged with:

• Drunk drivers killed due to negligence
• Second-degree murder

Penalties often vary for these offenses. Someone at the low end of such crimes (misdemeanor negligent-vehicular-manslaughter-while-intoxicated) can receive a year in jail or up to $5,000 in fines. However, second-degree murder is a felony, and if a person has committed second-degree murder, there can be a maximum jail term of up to 15 years.

How the drinking and driving Affect My Record?

If you’re convicted of drinking and driving in California, your driver’s license will be suspended. A conviction for DUI will also show on your criminal record for 10 years. You might have to pay fines and fees, attend mandatory classes, and more.

Conclusion

In the state of California, there are different penalties for drunken driving. There is a provision of punishment depending on the gravity of the situation. The police can charge you with DUI if their breathalyzer shows a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than 0.08% or higher. If you get caught driving under the influence, your license will be suspended, and you could face other penalties.

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