D.U.I. Information

First Time Offenders
First time DUI offenders will have the most questions about what is to come from their DUI conviction. First off, Misdemeanor offenses are punished less severely than Felony offenses.

Misdemeanor DUI offenses generally will not involve injuries while felony DUI offenses typically do include injuries. In a felony DUI, someone other than the driver was injured or killed as a result of the offense.

Nature of Offense
Driver Under 21,
BAC .01% or more
1 year or more
1 year or more
1 year or more
Driver 21 and Over
BAC .08% or more
1 year or more
1 year or more
1 year or more
Chemical Test
1 year
2 years*
3 years*

A DUI offense is a civil and criminal matter. Drivers with illegal alchohol levels in their breath or blood or who refuse to take and complete a chemical test are dealt with by law enforcement in two different ways as follows:

  • Prosecuted for the DUI criminal offense or Chemical Test refusal. Penalties can include Jail, Prison, Fines, Treatment Programs, Probation, and Lisence Suspensions.
  • Lisencing actions taken by the DMV for the Civil Offense of DUI.

If someone refuses take and complete a Chemical Test for DUI, the punishment is still severe. California Law requires drivers to submit to a Chemical Test when it is requested by a Law Enforcement officer. Consequences for refusing a chemical test are as follows:

  • Loss of Drivers Liscence with more severe sanctions than those convicted of DUI
  • Application of all standard DUI penalties
  • Jail Time instead of Probation
  • Longer Jail sentences
Drivers Age
Criminal Offense
Civil Offense
Under 21
21 And Over
Commercial Drivers

Exeeding the legal Blood Alchohol Content (BAC) Limit is the presumption of being under the influence of Alchohol while driving, and that normal facilities have been impaired. Drivers whos BAC level is below the legal CA limit can still be convicted of DUI if evidence shows that their driving abilities have been impared.

Misdemeanor penalties can include jail time (not prison) and fines up to $1000.00. Felony penalties can include jail or prison time, and fines well beyond $1000.00. Subsequent offenses (within 7 years of misdemeanor offenses or within 10 years of felony offenses) are punished much more severely than previous offenses. First time offenders of Misdemeanor or Felony DUI are liable to receive penalties such as:

Jail/Prison Time ((Mandatory 48hours Jailtime)
DUI Treatment Program
Impoundment of Vehicle or Vehicle Forfeiture
Restriction/Suspension/Revocation of CA Drivers Lisence
Requirement of an Ignition Lock Device
CA Probation

Generally, offenders are made to pay fines. There are three types of fines as follows; Penalty Assessment, Offense Fine, and Restitution. Misdemeanor Offense Fines are from $390.00 to $1000.00 (Felony fines are up to $5000.00). Penalty assessments are %170 of the offense fine. Restitution Fines are to compensate victims injuries and losses, and can range from $100.00 to $10,000.00.

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