What to Expect after Being Convicted of DUI
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a crime not only in the state of California but in all states. However, a little variation may occur from area to area with respect to the amount of alcohol present in your blood.
Moreover, because of the high numbers of people convicted of DUI and the rising occurrence of DUI problems, a new law introduced in 2011 allows the Motor Vehicle Department to suspend the driving license of any individual driving under influence in the State of California.
DUI Consequences in California
As mentioned already, there is a certain level of alcohol that needs to be present in the blood in order for you to be convicted. For a person who is 21 years old or older, and who is driving a private vehicle, the percentage of alcohol in blood has to be 0.08 or higher to be convicted.
However, if you are driving a commercial vehicle, you can get convicted for as little as 0.04% alcohol level in your blood stream. If you are younger than 21, finding even 0.01% of alcohol in your blood stream can lead to conviction according to DUI Laws CA.
It’s also essential to note that the alcohol content in your blood at the time of arrest isn’t the only denominator. In case you have consumed an excess of alcohol-based medication (like cough syrups or Benadryl), certain prescription meds or over-the-counter meds, or illegal drugs, you may be convicted.
Let’s take a detailed look at the DUI consequences CA, so you know what penalties you may face:
First-Time DUI Convictions Penalty
In case there has been no casualty or injury as a result of DUI, the penalty can be one of the following:
- Penalties totaling $1800 which includes a fine of $390, $1000 assessment DUI and the rest in penalties.
- A jail sentence of 48 hours, or a license restriction of 90 days after 4 months of DMV suspension that constricts your movements to work and an alcohol treatment facility only. If the initial suspension spans over 30 days, restricted movements are imposed for 5 months.
- An alcohol treatment cycle of at least 3 months (9 months for people found with 0.2% or more alcohol level), which costs $500.
- 30 day complete suspension of driver’s license.
- First-time offenders have to follow a code of conduct and are under probation for 3-5 years.
Second Time DUI Conviction Penalty
If you have been previously convicted of drunk driving, then the penalties applied would be different. These include:
- Penalties of $1800, including a $390 fine, and the rest for penalty assessments.
- Jail sentence for 10 days, or two 48-hour stays for a total of 96 hours.
- An $1800 alcohol treatment program that spans over a period of 18 to 30 months.
- ‘Interlock’ device installation on all vehicles you own
Third Time DUI Conviction
A third time conviction will have the following penalties:
- $1800 ($390 fine and the rest for penalty assessments)
- Jail sentence for 120 days (180 days for 4th conviction)
- 3 year driver’s license suspension and 30-month offender program.
Remember that your driving record carries the conviction for 10 years, which can cause havoc in your personal life, career and future. The best thing to do is to avoid driving if you feel you may be intoxicated – Don’t take a chance!
First-time convicts are typically not handed down any severe sentences. However, they are expected to attend DUI schools that may cost a lot. Mostly, their licenses aren’t completely suspended but there are restrictions on movement. In addition, a 3-year probation is put in place, which if violated can increase the amount of penalties.
If you have been previously convicted of driving under influence, your chances of convincing the judges are pretty grim. However, a blood alcohol level of or around 0.08% might give you some leverage. Anything at or higher than 0.15% is an indication that you are a habitual drinker. You will of course have to attend DUI school either way.
Interstate Repercussions of DUI Conviction
Earlier, people could escape their DUI conviction by going to another state that did not have any record of your misdemeanors. However, all records are now available in every state and there’s no escaping your past convictions!
When Should You Hire a DUI Attorney?
An experienced and aggressive DUI attorney can help you get through the process with minimal repercussions as well as protect your rights, so contact one to plead your case right away!