Convictions for DUI Offenses in California

California has a zero tolerance policy for drivers under the legal age of 21 that states those drivers cannot legally operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.08%. The state also bans those over the legal drinking age from operating any type of motor vehicle while impaired. While a first offense might leave you facing a small fine, there is a risk that the judge may sentence you to additional penalties because of your BAC. You should know the laws and what convictions you face before meeting with a DUI lawyer.


First Offense


As long as there isn’t any evidence that you harmed another person while behind the wheel, the judge will generally sentence you to a fine of around $1,800. You also risk losing your license for a period of four months and receiving probation for an extra three months that prohibits you from driving anywhere but home, work and school. If you had a BAC of above 0.20%, you may need to spend up to three months in an alcohol rehab center or program before the DMV will begin the suspension of your license.


Second Offense


After law enforcement charges you with a second DUI, you face the same fine/penalty as you did after your first offense, but the judge can also sentence you to up to 10 days in jail. The judge can also require that you spend two full weekends in jail rather than 10 full days. You must also complete an alcohol treatment program that lasts for 18 to 30 months. The court will hold you responsible for paying for that program. A second offense may lead to the court putting an ignition interlock device on your car that keeps you from driving with a higher BAC.


Additional Offenses


The amount of time you spend in jail increases with each subsequent offense and can eventually reach several months. Those convicted of multiple DUI offenses are also subject to a temporary ban on driving. The court can ban you from driving for up to four years or longer. The judge may also require that you pay fees and penalties of nearly $20,000 for multiple convictions. Whether this is your first DUI, or the judge convicted you of driving under the influence in the past, talk about the possible penalties you face with an Alameda County DUI lawyer.