California DUI Laws


An arrest for DUI/DWI in the state of California results in 2 separate cases; first the court case, and then the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) case.

There are 2 different statutes that must be looked at when a defendant is in court due to a DUI/DWI offense. First, is the California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), and then Vehicle Code Section 23152 (b).

Under the first statute, determining if the operator of the motor vehicle was impaired by either drugs or alcohol to the point of not being able to properly function is priority.

The second statute simply tries to answer the question of whether or not the person’s blood alcohol level or BAC was at or above .08 at the time of the traffic stop.

Penalties for driving while impaired depend on the amount of prior convictions and the severity of the incident if an accident is caused.

A First DUI/DWI conviction results in; Alcohol abuse counseling, a fine between $390 and $1000, and 48 hours to 6 months behind bars. If one is found guilty of driving impaired while operating a vehicle which requires a class 1, 2, A, or B license their license is also revoked for 6 months.

If one’s second offense is within 10 years of their first, it can result in; fine between $390 and $1000, either 10 days to 1 year in jail and a 2 year license suspension, or 96 days to 1 year in jail, and extensive alcohol or drug program completion. If a person is found guilty of DUI/DWI while operating a vehicle that requires a class 1, 2, A, or B license, their license is revoked for 2 years.

A third offense within ten years results in; 120 days to 1 year in jail, fine between $390 to $1000, a 3 year revocation of your license, and extensive drug/alcohol counseling.

A fourth offense results in; 180 days to 1 year in jail, fine between $390 and $1000, 4-year license revocation, and extensive drug/alcohol counseling.

Penalties invoked by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) are also quite harsh.

If your first offense results in a BAC of above .08, your license is revoked for 4 months, and if you refuse a chemical test, your license is revoked for 1 year.

If your second offense is within 10 years of your first, it results in; 1 year license revocation, and if you refuse to provide a chemical sample you are banned from driving for 2 years.

Third offense within 10 years results in; 3 year license revocation, and if you refuse to provide a chemical sample, you are banned from driving for 3 years.

Fourth offense within 10 years results in; 4 year driving ban, and if you refuse to provide a chemical sample you are also subjected to a 4 year ban from driving.

California DUI Laws
4.2 (83.33%) 12 votes

Originally posted 2016-12-11 11:43:56.