The Time To Act Is Now

You Have 10 Days From The Date Of Your Arrest To Fight, Or Your License Will Be Automatically Suspended

There is currently enormous political pressure to arrest and convict DUI offenders.  More than anytime in California’s history the state is willing to infringe upon your personal rights to increase DUI convictions.  As a result, DUI laws have become more stringent after each legislative cycle.  The consequences of a DUI arrest and conviction can be overwhelming, and include:

  • Jail
  • Fines
  • Court costs
  • Criminal record
  • Loss of employment
  • Loss of professional license or certification
  • Rider on your health insurance
  • License suspension
  • Exorbitant increase in, or cancellation of, auto insurance
  • Community service
  • License reinstatement fees
  • Inability to rent or lease vehicles
  • Negative credit report

Most people are simply not prepared to handle the emotional and mental stress that results from a DUI arrest.  The first step is to get the right person on your side, who understands DUI law inside and out. Penalties for DUI Offenses It is important to realize that any of the following punishments can be enhanced if your case involves excessive speed, an accident, a refusal, prior convictions, medications, illegal drugs, prescription drugs,  medical marijuana, excessive alcohol ( .15 or more) or minors in the vehicle.

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First DUI Offense in Ten Years:

  • A minimum fine of $390 to $1,000 plus penalty assessments meaning the real cost to you is about  $1,900.00 to $4,500.00
  • Possible 4 month license suspension, or one month suspension followed by five months of restriction, including possible ignition interlock device during restriction period
  • Possible court ordered ignition interlock on your car after restriction
  • Possible 6 months in the county jail
  • Possibility of community labor and/or community service
  • 3 month, 6 month, or 9 month alcohol program costing from $500.00 to $1,500.00

Additional requirements such as possible VIP (Victim Impact Panel), MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) class, the Hospital and Morgue Program (HAM), additional AA meetings, ankle bracelet known as SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor), house arrest, community labor and/or community service.

2nd DUI Offense within 10 Years:

  • A minimum fine of $390 to $1,000 plus penalty assessments ($1,900 to $4,5000, courts will usually increase fines)
  • Mandatory minimum of 96 hours to 180 days in county jail
  • 18 month alcohol program (approximately $2,500.00)
  • Loss of license for 2 years with possible restricted license after 3 months of suspension followed by 12 months of mandatory ignition interlock device, at a cost of $600 to $1,200
  • Possible court-ordered Interlock after restriction period

Additional requirements such as possible VIP (Victim Impact Panel), MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) class, the Hospital and Morgue Program (HAM), additional AA meetings, ankle bracelet known as SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor), house arrest, community labor and/or community service.

3rd DUI Offense within 10 Years:

  • A minimum fine of $390 to $1,000 with penalty assessments ($1,900 to $4,500, most courts will increase the fines)
  • Mandatory minimum of 120 days of county jail up to one year
  • 18 month alcohol program costing approximately $2,500
  • You are declared a habitual traffic offender and license is revoked for 3 years
  • Mandatory installation of Ignition Interlock device for 24 months starting from when you are allowed to drive
  • Each and every one of the punishments noted for 1st or 2nd DUI

4th Offense within 10 Years:

  • Filing as misdemeanor or felony
  • Mandatory 180 days in county jail, up to 3 years In state prison
  • Mandatory Interlock for 36 months after you are allowed to drive
  • Any and all of the previous punishments noted.

NOTE: There are many ramifications for persons under 21, particularly students. Contact us for more information on underage offenders. Underage individuals are often treated quite harshly for drinking of any kind.

DUI 101: Ross H. Sobel Answers your DUI Questions:

What is the 10-day rule?

RHS: “By law you have only 10 days from the date of arrest to prevent your license from being suspended.  If you are charged with DUI and refused to take a breath or blood test, or if your test results indicated your blood alcohol level was 0.08 or higher, you must request a special hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles.”

Do I have to be drunk to be charged with DUI?

RHS: “No. A DUI charge simply implies that a driver has consumed enough alcohol and/or drugs to make them a less safe driver.  A minor traffic infraction such as failure to maintain lane, disregarding a traffic signal, failure to yield, driving too fast or too slow – combined with even a small amount of alcohol and/or drugs – will likely be justification for a DUI charge.”

What blood alcohol level constitutes DUI?

RHS: “Under California law anyone 21 years of age or older is considered “per se” under the influence if they have a blood alcohol content of 0.08. Per a judge’s instructions, a jury may assume your BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) to be 0.08 if a blood or breath test was taken within 3 hours of your having operated a motor vehicle.”  (California Vehicle Code §23152)

How accurate is the breath test?

RHS: “The EC IR is simply a machine. Variations or outside factors as common as mechanical failure or the presence of even minor chemicals – such as those found in white bread – can affect the test results.”

What are the DUI penalties for persons 21 or older?

RHS: “The legal representation you choose can make a huge difference in how these offenses are dealt with – as well as the long-term impact on your future. Penalties for offenses are outlined above as a legal baseline.”

What does Nolo Contendere mean?

RHS: “A ‘nolo’ plea is one that allows you to dispose of your case without admitting guilt although it is treated as “guilty”.  The only benefit derived from this plea is that it cannot be used against you in a subsequent civil action.”

I didn’t take the test – will my license be suspended?

RHS: “Yes, if you refused to take the test or failed to complete either test, or your test results are 0.08 or higher you can suffer various degrees of license suspension via the DMV.  This is an administrative suspension by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, and it begins on the 31st day after your arrest. To avoid this suspension, we must appeal it in writing to the DMV within 10 days of your arrest. The suspension will then be stayed until hearing is held.”

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