The state of California prohibits all motorists from driving while under the Influence (DUI) of drugs, alcohol, or any other substance that causes intoxication. A similar law also exists that prohibits riding bikes, scooters, or boating while under the influence. The acceptable Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) under the law is below 0.08%, and anything above is considered driving under the influence.

For commercial drivers, your Blood Alcohol Content should be below 0.04%. Also, California has zero-tolerance for underage drivers below the age of 21 years who drive with a blood alcohol content of 0.01%. There are many legal consequences if caught driving or riding under the influence, and we advise you to seek our services at the Orange County Attorney in Irvine to defend you from all the charges that may be leveled against you.

 

Instances of DUI Charges in California

DUI penalties in California vary based on the circumstances of the case. However, the law provides a guide for allowable penalties that are dependent on any prior convictions of the defendant. If convicted of a DUI, it stays on your record for ten years. For this reason, it is imperative that you consult an experienced Irvine DUI attorney to fight against possible convictions and penalties that may be imposed. The following is a summary of the consequences of DUI offenses:

Refusal to Take a Blood Alcohol Test and Implied Consent in California

If arrested riding or driving under the influence, “Implied Consent” law expects drivers and riders to agree to a BAC testing. The driver has a choice between blood and breath testing. Should the driver refuse to either type of testing, he or she will be required to pay a fine of $125 and face suspension of their driver’s license. License suspension is also dependent on any previous convictions, with the first conviction getting a one-year suspension, second conviction getting two years suspension, and the third conviction getting a three-year suspension.

First-Time DUI

In California, the first DUI offense is considered a misdemeanor.  Consequences for a first-time DUI  will include:

  • Fine: the fine ranges from $390 and $1,000. In addition to other assessment fees, the final amount is about $3,600
  • Jail term: for first DUI offenders, jail term will not exceed six months
  • Driver’s License: you can receive up to six months’ suspension on your driving license from a criminal court. In addition to this, the DMV imposes a further 4-month suspension as a penalty. If you refuse to take a BAC test, the DMV suspension automatically increases to one year. In cases with several suspensions, you will be forced to face the longest one. After a suspension period of 30 days, you can qualify to apply for and get a restricted driving license that allows you to only drive to or from school or work.
  • Probation: As a first-time offender, you can also receive a DUI probation of three years, and in some cases, it may go up to at least five You will also be required to complete a DUI school that will take you three months. If your BAC is 0.2% or more, the requirement for DUI School will be nine months.
  • Ignition Interlock Device: For your vehicle, you will be required to install an IID for six

Second-Time DUI

If you are a second-time misdemeanor DUI offender, the consequences are:

  • Fine and Penalties: A second DUI carries between $390 and$1,000 on top of additional fees totaling to about $4,000.
  • Jail term: as a 2nd-time offender, your jail term can go up to a year
  • Driver’s license: a criminal court can impose a suspension of up to two years for second-time offenders. The DMV, on the other hand, imposes a one-year suspension. In the case of multiple suspensions, the driver is expected to follow the longest of the suspensions. A driver can only qualify for restricted driving after completing the first 90-day suspension. In case the DUI had drugs involved, the 90 days are increased to a year.
  • Probation: a second-time offender can be given 3-year probation, but it can go up to about five The defendant, in this case, must complete 18 to 30 months in a DUI school.
  • Vehicle: another DUI consequence for a second-time offender is the installation of an IID in your car for a

Third-Time DUI

A third time DUI offense is also a misdemeanor that carries the following several consequences:

  • Fines and Penalties: a 3rd time DUI offense carries between $390 and $1,000 in cash fines and penalty assessment fees that can get to a total of $18,000.
  • Jail term: you can get up to a year-long jail term or be confined in state prison for 16 months.
  • License: up to three years suspension from a criminal court, and the DMV imposes a 1-year suspension. The driver faces the longest of the two suspensions.
  • Probation: Between 3 and 5 years of probation, the defendant is also expected to attend DUI school for 30 months.
  • Vehicle: you will be sentenced to install IID for not less than two

Fourth Offense

The fourth and any other following DUIs in ten years are prosecuted as felonies with these consequences:

  • Penalties and Fees: fine can be between $390 and $5,000 in addition to penalty assessments increasing the final figure to about $18,000
  • Jail term: this can range between 16 to 36 months in state prison.
  • Driving License: a license can be suspended for four years, and in some cases, a permanent suspension of the driver’s license.
  • Probation: Usually between 3 and 5 years probation and the defendant is expected to attend a DUI school for 30 months.
  • Vehicle: the offender must install IID for a mandatory three
  • Record: a permanent felony record.

 

Felony DUI Resulting in Physical Injury

When a defendant injures a person during a DUI accident, they face severe punishments than normal DUIs. Drinking under the influence that results in bodily injury can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony based on the presented facts and the previous record of the defendant.

A conviction would result in the following consequences:

  • Fines and penalties: fines will range between $390 and $5,000 based on evidence and the prior history of the defendant. An additional penalty assessments fees can increase the final figure to about $18,000 that is paid in cash.
  • Restitution: offenders are expected to offer payment of restitution to the injured party.
  • Imprisonment: Between 16 months and 36 months.
  • Driver’s License: a suspension of your license, not exceeding four years as well as a possibility of a permanent suspension.
  • Probation: if convicted, you can face probation time of between 3 and 5 years as well as complete a two and a half DUI school time.
  • Vehicle: if convicted, you would be sentenced to having an IID installed in your car for not less than three
  • Record: once convicted, you record permanently reads as a convicted felon.

 

Watson Murder and Manslaughter

DUI that results in death will lead to the following charges:

  • 5b Negligent vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated
  • 5a Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated
  • PC187 Second degree murder “Watson Murder”
  • PC189 Second degree murder

If you have a previous DUI conviction, the prosecutor can charge you with 2nd-degree murder PC187.

 

Commercial DUI

As a holder of a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), you are held at higher standards compared to regular drivers. The legal BAC for commercial vehicle drivers is 0.04% compared to regular drivers of 0.08%. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations indicate that if a driver refuses to take a blood alcohol test, it equals admitting to being guilty to driving under the influence, and you risk having your driver’s license permanently revoked or suspended.

The consequences for DUI conviction for commercial drivers are similar to those of regular drivers, with the following additions:

  • 1st DUI: Your CDL is suspended for a year
  • 2nd DUI: your DCL is permanently revoked
  • As a driver, you will not be allowed restricted driving, meaning you will be unable to work.

Based on the type and nature of the violation, a driver can face a possible jail term of:

  • 36 months or much more if at the time the offense occurred, you were operating a vehicle with poisonous or dangerous materials
  • For any other subsequent offenses, you face a life sentence
  • Life imprisonment if you are convicted of committing a felony that involves controlled and illegal substances using your CDL

Because of the harsh punishment the state of California imposes on DUI offenders, it is important to get the services of a qualified and reputable Irvine DUI attorney to defend you.

 

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID)

Apart from driving under the influence of alcohol, it is a crime to drive under the influence of drugs according to the California Vehicle Code 23152(f) or a combination of drugs and alcohol under vehicle code 23152(g). A driver is considered to be DUI of drugs when he or she is unable to drive soberly under similar circumstances because of:

  • Any drugs, whether they are illegal, prescription drugs or over the counter drugs
  • A combination of alcohol and drugs

Defining a Drug According to the California Law

Based on the Vehicle Code 23152(f) and (g), a drug is defined as any substance or combination of substances that do not include alcohol but affects the nervous system, muscles, and brain of an individual, impairing their ability to drive as a cautious person would. Drugs include:

  • Illegal drugs like heroin, methamphetamine, or cocaine
  • Legal drugs like marijuana
  • Prescription drugs
  • Over the counter drugs, including antihistamines or cold medication

There are common drugs that are implicated in various cases of violation Vehicle Code 23152(f) and (g). They include:

  • Marijuana
  • Prescription drugs like Vicodin, opiates, or Oxycontin
  • Ambien
  • Methamphetamine

 

DUI of Sleeping Pills

If arrested for driving under the influence of sleeping pills, you will face California DUI penalties. This applies to both legal prescription drugs, over the counter drugs, and illegal drugs. There are various elements that help define a DUI of sleeping pills charge. They include:

  • You drove a vehicle
  • You were under the influence of sleeping pills or a combination of alcohol and sleeping pills
  • Your mental and physical abilities were impaired due to sleeping pills.

These elements are similar to those of driving under the influence of alcohol. There are common scenarios in which people are arrested for DUI sleeping pills:

  • Driving while suffering from the “next day” effect
  • Taking sleeping pills before starting to drive with the hope that they will kick in as you get home

If convicted of DUI of sleeping pills, you will face similar penalties as those of DUI of alcohol. From the first offense to the third, the DUI for sleeping pills is termed as a misdemeanor, but it can also be charged as a felony DUI if:

  • You have previous DUI convictions (3) in the past 10 years
  • You have a felony DUI conviction
  • You cause bodily injury to another party

 

DUI of Marijuana

Marijuana for recreational purposes is legalized in California, but driving under its influence is a crime. The penalties for driving under Marijuana influence are summarized in the table below:

DUI offense

Possible Penalties

1st DUI

●       Up to six months of jail term

●       $390 to $1,000 fine

●       Three to nine months in DUI school

●       Six to ten months of license suspension with a possibility of converting it to a restricted license.

2nd DUI

●       96 hours to a one-year jail term

●       $390 to $1,000 fine

●       18 to 30 months in DUI school

●       Two years of license suspension with possible conversion to a restricted license after 12 months

3rd DUI

●       120 days to a one-year jail term

●       $390 to $1,000 fine

●       30 months in DUI school

●       Three years license revoking with a possible restricted license after 18 months

Misdemeanor DUI with Bodily injury

●       Five days to a one-year jail term

●       $390 to $5,000 fine in addition to paying restitution to the injured party

●       18 to 30 months in a DUI school

●       One to three years of license revocation

 

Felony DUI

●       16 months, 24 months or 36 months in state prison

●       $390 to $1,000 fine

●       18 to 30 months in DUI school

●       Four years license revoking

Felony DUI with bodily injury

●       16 months to 16 years in a state prison

●       $1,015 to $5,000 fine in addition to paying restitution to the injured party

●       18 months to 30 months in DUI school

●       Five years of a revoked license

 

A Summary of Possible DUI Penalties

1st DUI   

  • Up to six months of jail term
  • $390 to $1,000 fine
  • Three to nine months in DUI school
  • Six to ten months of license suspension with a possibility of converting it to a restricted license.

2nd DUI   

  • 96 hours to a one-year jail term
  • $390 to $1,000 fine
  • 18 to 30 months in DUI school
  • 2 years license suspension with possible conversion to a restricted license after 12 months

3rd DUI   

  • 120 days to a one-year jail term
  • $390 to $1,000 fine
  • 30 months in DUI school
  • Three years license revocation with a possible restriction after 18 months

Misdemeanor DUI with Bodily injury   

  • Five days to a 1-year jail term
  • $390 to $5,000 fine in addition to paying restitution to the injured party
  • 18 to 30 months in a DUI school
  • 1 to 3 years license revoking

Felony DUI   

  • 16 months, 24 months or 36 months in prison
  • $390 to $1,000 fine
  • 18 to 30 months in DUI school
  • 4 years license revoking

Felony DUI with bodily injury    

  • 16 months to 16 years in a state prison
  • $1,015 to $5,000 fine in addition to paying restitution to the injured party
  • 18 months to 30 months in DUI school
  • 5 years of a revoked license

 

DUI of Vicodin and Other Painkillers

Driving under the influence of drugs law applies to any drug that impairs the ability to drive, including prescription painkillers. If you drive under the influence of Vicodin, Percocet, Oxycontin, Codeine, or any other narcotic painkillers, you risk being arrested for a DUI.

Punishment and penalties for DUI of painkillers in California are similar to those of DUI of alcohol. They will include possible fines, probation, attending DUI school, suspension of your driver’s license, and a possible jail term.

 

How Our Irvine DUI Attorney Will Help You

Being charged with a DUI offense in California is a serious legal issue based on the discussed punishments. Because of this, employing the services of an experienced Irvine DUI Attorney for your defense is the best option.

Irrespective of the kind of DUI you are being charged with, your defense attorney will gather all the necessary information and experts to help you avoid conviction or to help you get the most lenient punishment possible. We will evaluate the procedure for your arrest, how DUI tests were conducted, police misconduct, and other information that will help build a strong defense strategy. This will help you to have peace of mind as an experienced DUI lawyer guides you through the complex criminal justice system.

 

Find an Irvine DUI Attorney Near Me

Finding an experienced Irvine DUI attorney can help you avoid or minimize possible penalties for DUI and related offenses. We at the Orange County DUI Attorney are ready to help you fight DUI and DUI-related charges. If you need our services, call us at 949-377-2280 today!