Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious offense under California state law. DUI poses a danger to the public, accounting for nearly 29% of fatal traffic accidents in the state each year. Since DUI puts the public at risk, the penalties for DUI are steep, and get more severe with each subsequent arrest. Anyone can make a mistake after a night of drinking, but it doesn’t always mean you have broken the law. When you have been arrested for DUI, it’s important to put up your best defense to keep a DUI off your record, and afford the serious consequences.

DUI Penalties in California

In an effort to keep individuals arrested for DUI from becoming repeat offenders, penalties increase with each arrest. The first time you are arrested for DUI in California, penalties may include:

  • Fines up to $1,000
  • Penalty assessments up to $2,600
  • Up to six months in jail (10 months for a blood alcohol level of 0.15% or more)
  • Up to a six-month driver’s license suspension
  • Impounding of vehicle for up to 30 days

Required penalties for a first-time offense include:

  • Suspension of driver’s license for at least 30 days
  • 90-day restriction on driver’s license, allowing you to drive only to and from work and to an alcohol rehabilitation program
  • Participation in a three-month alcohol treatment program (a nine-month program for a blood alcohol level of 0.20% or higher)

A second DUI arrest will result in the following penalties:

  • Fines up to $1,000
  • Penalty assessments up to $3,000
  • Up to one year in jail
  • Up to a two-year driver’s license suspension
  • Impounding of vehicle for up to 30 days

Required penalties for a first-time offense include:

  • Suspension of driver’s license for at least one year
  • Two-year restriction on driver’s license
  • Installation of ignition interlock device

For a third arrest, penalties jump to:

  • Fines up to $5,000
  • Penalty assessments up to $13,000
  • Up to one year in jail (16 months after 4th offense, which may be charged as felony)
  • Up to a three-year driver’s license suspension (four years for 4th offense)
  • Impounding of vehicle for up to 90 days, or loss of vehicle

Contact a DUI Attorney in Riverside

When you’re facing a DUI charge in Riverside, CA, you need an attorney experienced in defending clients against DUI charges. The Carson Law Firm is criminal defense law firm that  has helped numerous clients in the Riverside area keep DUI convictions off their records, and can help you fight your DUI charge and avoid undue penalties.