The District Attorney And The Court

What are the penalties for drunk driving in California?

Mostly, the answer to this question depends upon whether  you have prior drunk driving or similar convictions within seven years (10 years for felony priors) and whether someone other than yourself was injured in the current offense.

Individual counties, and individual judges within a county, vary somewhat in how they impose sentencing within the limits set forth below.

First Offense

Vehicle Code 23152 Without Injury For Everyone Else

Controlling Vehicle Code Sections: 13352(a)(1), 23536 and 23538.
Probation, if Granted: 3 to 5 years.

Fine: Up to $1000, plus penalties which vary from county to county, but typically about 160%, for a total of $1600. Monthly payments are allowed.

County Jail: 48 hours to 6 months.

Driver’s License: With probation: 90 days restriction, limited to driving to, from and in connection with work. If going to school is your “job”, you might get away with driving there. Without probation: Suspend 6 months and until DUI Program completed.

DUI Program: 30 hours or more over a 3-month period. (45 hours over 6 months if B.A.C. 0.20% or if chemical test refused.)

Vehicle: May impound vehicle up to 6 months and/or require ignition interlock.

Vehicle Code 23153 With Injury To A Person, Other Than The Accused Driver

Controlling Vehicle Code Sections: 13352(a)(2), 23554, 23556
Probation, if Granted: 3 to 5 years.

Fine: Up to $5000, plus penalties which vary from county to county, but typically about 160%. Monthly payments are allowed.

County Jail or State Prison: 5 days to 1 year county jail, or 16 months, 2 or 3 years state prison. Additional 1 year state prison for each additional injured victim, up to 3. Additional 3 to 5 years state prison for any victim with great bodily injury.

Driver’s License: Suspend 1 year and until DUI Program done.

DUI Program: 30 hours or more over a 3-month period. (45 hours over 6 months if B.A.C. 0.20% or if chemical test refused.)

Vehicle: May impound vehicle up to 6 months and/or require ignition interlock for 3 years.

Second Offense

Controlling Vehicle Code Sections: 13352(a)(3), 23540 and 23542.
Probation, if Granted: 3 to 5 years.

Fine: Up to $1000, plus penalties which vary from county to county, but typically about 160%, for a total of $1600. Monthly payments are allowed.

County Jail: 96 hours to 1 year.

Driver’s License: With probation: Work only restriction for the length of the DUI Program, limited to driving to, from and in connection with work. If going to school is your “job”, you might get away with driving there. No probation: Suspend 2 years and until DUI Program completed.

DUI Program:18 or 30 months.

Vehicle: May impound vehicle up to 1 year and/or require ignition interlock device (you may request one too, for early return of driving privileges under §23575).

Controlling Vehicle Code Sections: 13352(a)(4), 23560, 23562
Probation, if Granted: 3 to 5 years.

Fine: Up to $5000, plus penalties which vary from county to county, but typically about 160%. Monthly payments are allowed.

County Jail or State Prison: 30 days to 1 year county jail, or 16 months, 2 or 3 years state prison. Additional 1 year state prison for each additional injured victim, up to 3. Additional 3 to 5 years state prison for any victim with great bodily injury.

Driver’s License: Revoke 3 years and until DUI Program done.

DUI Program: 18 or 30 months.

Vehicle: May forfeit vehicle or impound it up to 1 year and/or require ignition interlock device (you may request one too, for early return of driving privileges under §23575).

Second or More If Prior Within 10 Years Was Punished As A Felony

Controlling Vehicle Code Sections: 13352(a)(7), and 23550.5.
In addition to the usual punishment based upon the number of priors, this offense is a felony and the following additional penalties apply:

County Jail or State Prison: Up to 1 year jail or 16 months, 2 or 3 years prison.

Driver’s License: Revoke 4 years and until DUI Program done. Designated habitual offender.

Third Offense

Controlling Vehicle Code Sections: 13352(a)(7), 23546 and 23548.
Probation, if Granted: 3 to 5 years.

Fine: Up to $1000, plus penalties which vary from county to county, but typically about 160%, for a total of $1600. Monthly payments are allowed.

County Jail: 30 days to 1 year county jail.

Driver’s License: Revoke 4 years and until DUI Program done. Designated habitual offender.

DUI Program:18 or 30 months.

Vehicle: May forfeit vehicle or impound it up to 1 year and/or require ignition interlock device (you may request one too, for early return of driving privileges under §23575).

Third or More Offense – Controlling Vehicle Code Sections: 13352(a)(6), 23566 and 23568

Probation, if Granted: 3 to 5 years.

Fine: Up to $5000, plus penalties which vary from county to county, but typically about 160%. Monthly payments are allowed.

County Jail or State Prison: 30 days to 1 year county jail, or 2, 3 or 4 years state prison. Additional 1 year state prison for each additional injured victim, up to 3. Maybe an additional 3 to 5 years state prison for any victim with great bodily injury.

Driver’s License: Revoke 5 years and until DUI Program done. Designated habitual offender.

DUI Program:18 or 30 months.

Vehicle: May forfeit vehicle or impound it up to 1 year and/or require ignition interlock device (you may request one too, for early return of driving privileges under §23575).

Fourth Or More Offense

Controlling Vehicle Code Sections: 13352(a)(7), 23550 and 23552.
Probation, if Granted: 3 to 5 years.

Fine: Up to $1000, plus penalties which vary from county to county, but typically about 160%, for a total of $1600. Monthly payments are allowed.

County Jail or State Prison: 30 days to 1 year county jail, or 2, 3 or 4 years state prison.

Driver’s License: Revoke 4 years and until DUI Program done. Designated habitual offender.

DUI Program:18 or 30 months.

Vehicle: May forfeit vehicle or impound it up to 1 year and/or require ignition interlock device (you may request one too, for early return of driving privileges under §23575).