Skip to content

Comprehensive Guide to 2024 DUI Laws in Cerritos, California

Last Updated on April 6, 2024 by DALA Guest Author

Living in Cerritos, you are part of a community where driving under the influence (DUI) carries significant legal consequences. The laws are designed not only to penalize but also to prevent harmful behavior, safeguarding everyone on the road. This guide provides a thorough understanding of DUI laws in Cerritos, highlighting the updates for 2024 and their practical implications for you as a resident.

DUI Laws Defined in Cerritos Context

DUI in California, including Cerritos, is legally defined as operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. For commercial drivers, the threshold is more stringent at 0.04%. Minors under 21 face the strictest standard, where any alcohol level (0.01% or more) breaches the state’s “zero tolerance” policy. These laws reflect the state’s commitment to reducing alcohol-related accidents, ensuring that drivers, irrespective of age or professional status, adhere to safe driving practices​​.

2024 Updates in DUI Legislation

As 2024 unfolds, Cerritos drivers must navigate through the landscape of updated traffic safety laws. These laws, enacted by the California legislature, directly impact DUI enforcement and aim to enhance road safety across the city.

Speed Camera Pilot Program

A significant change is the introduction of a speed camera pilot program in select California cities, which may include areas around Cerritos. These cameras are set to monitor speed in zones with high traffic volumes or where speeding incidents frequently occur, thereby reducing the likelihood of speed-related DUI occurrences​.

Vehicle Registration and Tow Policies

Another notable update is the adjustment in vehicle registration and towing policies. Now, there’s a grace period post-registration expiry, during which your vehicle cannot be towed solely for expired registration, lessening the immediate penalties and giving you more time to renew your vehicle’s registration​ (CHP)​.

Penalties for DUI in Cerritos

Facing a DUI charge in Cerritos can lead to severe consequences. A first-time DUI offense might land you in jail for up to six months, impose fines up to $1,000, and result in a six-month license suspension. If you repeat the offense, the penalties increase significantly, with potential jail time of up to a year, extended license suspension periods, and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle.

OffenseJail TimeFinesLicense SuspensionOther Consequences
First DUIUp to 6 monthsUp to $1,000Up to 6 monthsDUI education, IID installation
Second DUIUp to 1 yearUp to $1,0002 yearsDUI education, IID installation
Third DUIUp to 1 yearUp to $1,0003 yearsDUI education, IID installation
Felony DUIMore than 1 yearVariesUp to 4 yearsDUI education, IID installation, probation, community service
  • Jail Time: Depending on the offense number and circumstances, jail time can range from none to over one year.
  • Fines: Monetary penalties can reach up to $1,000, not including legal fees and other court costs.
  • License Suspension: The length of suspension increases with each subsequent DUI offense.
  • Other Consequences: May include mandatory alcohol treatment programs, installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), probation, and community service.

These penalties can vary based on specific circumstances, such as the presence of aggravating factors or the exact BAC level at the time of the offense.

Administrative Penalties and DMV Proceedings

Upon a DUI arrest, you may encounter immediate administrative penalties from the DMV, including a possible license suspension. You have the right to challenge this in a DMV hearing, which must be requested within ten days post-arrest. The nearest DMV office to Cerritos, where such matters can be addressed, is located at 9520 East Artesia Blvd., Bellflower, CA 90706. At this hearing, you can argue against the suspension, presenting evidence to support your case and potentially maintain your driving privileges​.

DUI Enforcement Strategies in Cerritos

In Cerritos, DUI enforcement is rigorous, with local law enforcement agencies actively setting up DUI checkpoints, particularly during holidays and weekends, to curb drunk driving. These checkpoints are strategically placed in areas known for nightlife activity or where statistics show a higher incidence of DUI arrests. The goal is not just to catch those driving under the influence but also to deter others from considering it. By publicly announcing some checkpoint locations in advance, Cerritos aims to prevent DUI offenses proactively. However, the exact times and locations are often kept undisclosed to ensure effectiveness. Participation in these checkpoints helps enforce DUI laws and keeps the roads safer for everyone​​.

Police and Legal Processing

After an arrest for DUI in Cerritos, the process is thorough and multifaceted. The Cerritos Sheriff Station, the primary law enforcement body, handles the initial booking and charging. Following this, the case typically moves to the Bellflower Courthouse, where legal proceedings occur. This courthouse, central to the area’s judicial activities, sees many DUI cases annually, reflecting the strict enforcement measures in place. Here, DUI cases are reviewed, and penalties are determined based on the severity of the offense and the offender’s history. The legal process aims to ensure justice while also prioritizing public safety and rehabilitating offenders​​.

Legal process and proceedings one might face when dealing with a DUI in Cerritos, CA:

ArrestInitiated when an officer has probable cause to believe a person is driving under the influence.
BookingAfter arrest, the individual is taken to the police station for booking and processing.
Bail Set and PostedA judge sets bail, and the individual can post bail for release pending court proceedings.
ArraignmentFirst court appearance where charges are read, and a plea is entered (guilty, not guilty, or no contest).
DMV HearingSeparate from the criminal case, where the individual contests the license suspension. Must be requested within 10 days of arrest.
Pre-Trial MotionsLegal motions filed by defense or prosecution before trial to resolve preliminary issues, gather information, or dismiss charges.
TrialIf the case goes to trial, evidence is presented before a judge or jury to determine guilt.
SentencingIf found guilty, the court will schedule a sentencing hearing to determine the penalty.
Post-ConvictionIncludes probation, DUI school, community service, or other court-ordered requirements.

Each step in the process can vary in duration and complexity based on the specifics of the case, including prior DUI convictions, the severity of the offense, and the jurisdiction’s policies​​.

Legal Support in Cerritos

Seeking legal support in Cerritos after a DUI arrest is crucial. The city’s legal community includes attorneys specializing in DUI cases who understand the nuances of local and state DUI laws. These legal experts can navigate the complex legal system, challenge evidence, negotiate plea deals, or represent clients during trials. With a detailed understanding of DUI statutes and a network of local court connections, Cerritos attorneys are well-equipped to provide effective defense strategies for their clients, often resulting in reduced charges or penalties. This legal support is invaluable for those facing the daunting prospect of DUI charges, ensuring they receive knowledgeable and fair representation in court​.

Community Resources and DUI Prevention

Cerritos takes a proactive approach to DUI prevention, offering various community resources and programs aimed at educating residents about the dangers of drunk driving. These initiatives include school-based education programs, public awareness campaigns, and rehabilitation services. By promoting responsible drinking habits and offering support for those struggling with alcohol dependency, Cerritos aims to reduce the number of DUI incidents. Local organizations and government agencies collaborate to provide these resources, emphasizing the community’s commitment to preventing DUI offenses and ensuring the well-being of its residents.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) offers comprehensive support for victims of DUI incidents, providing emotional support, guidance through the justice system, and help with victim impact statements. They have a network of victim advocates available 24/7 to assist individuals affected by drunk or drugged driving crashes. For more information, visit MADD’s website.

John, a Cerritos resident, was hit by a drunk driver while walking home from work. Though he suffered serious injuries, the support from his community and organizations like MADD helped him through his recovery. His experience underscores the community’s resolve to combat DUI and support affected individuals.

Awareness Campaigns and Educational Programs

Cerritos hosts awareness campaigns and educational programs to prevent DUIs, including school-based initiatives and public seminars. These efforts educate residents about the dangers of impaired driving and promote safer community roads.

Support and Rehabilitation Services

For individuals in Cerritos facing DUI charges or struggling with alcohol-related issues, support and rehabilitation services are readily available. These programs offer counseling, treatment, and education designed to address the root causes of DUI behavior and promote long-term recovery. The focus is on helping individuals understand the consequences of their actions, develop healthier coping mechanisms, and reintegrate into society as responsible drivers. Through participation in these programs, offenders can often mitigate legal penalties and, more importantly, make positive changes in their lives.

For those in need of mental health and substance abuse support, Rio Hondo Mental Health Center in Cerritos offers outpatient care, individual and group therapy, and aftercare planning. More details can be found on their profile at

Additionally, Psychology Today provides listings for various support groups in Cerritos, addressing themes from women’s issues to substance abuse recovery, offering a community to share and heal together. Visit Psychology Today’s Cerritos page for more information.

Final Reflections

Understanding and respecting DUI laws in Cerritos is not only a legal obligation but also a community responsibility. As residents, you have the power to contribute to a safer environment by making informed decisions and supporting DUI prevention efforts. The city’s comprehensive approach, combining strict enforcement with educational and support resources, demonstrates a strong commitment to reducing DUI incidents and enhancing public safety. By staying informed about local DUI laws and resources, you play a part in promoting responsible driving and ensuring the well-being of the Cerritos community.


Facing DUI charges in Cerritos can be overwhelming, but understanding your situation and knowing what to expect can significantly ease the process. Here are some frequently asked questions that might address some of your concerns and provide clarity on your next steps.

Can I get my car out if it was impounded by the police after a DUI arrest?

Yes, you can retrieve your car from impound. However, you must first pay the towing and storage fees. The impound lot will require proof of ownership and may request proof of insurance.

Is my driver’s license suspended now that I’ve been arrested for a DUI?

Your license can be suspended after a DUI arrest, but the specific action depends on your BAC level and past record. You have the right to a DMV hearing to contest the suspension.

Will my license be automatically suspended after a DUI arrest?

Not immediately. You have 10 days to request a DMV hearing. If you don’t request a hearing, or if the hearing results in a suspension, then your license will be suspended.

Do the police have to give me a copy of my DUI arrest report before my first court date?

You or your attorney can request a copy of the DUI arrest report before the court date. This report is crucial for preparing your defense.

What happens at my first court date?

Your first court date, or arraignment, is where you hear the charges against you and enter a plea. You can plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest.

Can You Get a Fishing or Hunting License with a DUI?

A DUI conviction does not typically affect your ability to obtain a fishing or hunting license in California.

How Does a DUI Affect Your Mental Health?

A DUI can have significant mental health impacts, including stress, anxiety, and depression. Seeking support from counseling or support groups is advisable.

Can You Lose Your F-1 Student Visa if Arrested for a DUI?

An arrest for DUI can affect your F-1 student visa status. It’s crucial to consult with an immigration attorney to understand the potential consequences.

What Does the Prosecutor Need to Prove a DUI?

The prosecutor must prove you were driving with a BAC over the legal limit or that your driving ability was impaired by alcohol or drugs.

About Cerritos

Cerritos is a wonderful city that thrives on the creative moorings of its residents. The community has a remarkably strong preference for art and creativity but the residents also enjoy equally inclusive opportunities to engage in outdoor activities. The combination of arts, creativity and fun makes this city a perfect place to live.

The Sculpture Garden is home to some fine works of art and provides an identity for the city. Since its inception in 2006, the garden showcases its collection of public artworks. If you ever visit this scripture garden, you will get the opportunity to see the world from an artist’s perspective. The grounds as well as the sculptures such as the Statue of Freedom, Cerritos Art Disaster Memorial and many others are the works to admire. The beautiful trees and stone walls create such a wonderful outside ambiance that it’s a treat to visit the garden in itself.

Cities bordering Cerritos, CA include:

DALA Guest Author
Was this article helpful?
DMW Hearing
Pre-Trial Motions
Plea Bargain
error: Content is protected !!