Driving Under Influence DUI
Under California law, auto insurance companies are forbidden from taking action against a policy midterm. So if a driver is arrested midterm, the insurance company does not have the right to immediately raise the premium or cancel the policy. If the driver is applying for new coverage at the time of the DUI charges, the company can decide not to issue the driver a new policy.
DUI Driving Under the Influence First Offenses in Los Angeles
- Jail time: 96 hours to six months
- Fine: $390 to $1000
- Payment of penalty assessment equaling three times the amount of the fine
- Drivers license suspension, typically for six months
- Required completion of a DUI program (for as long as nine months)
- Possible order to install an ‘Ignition Interlock Device’ (IID)
- California SR22 (proof of financial responsibility) Insurance requirement for restricted license
- Auto Insurance Issues Beyond the DUI
How long will the DUI remain on record?
Typically, a DUI offense will remain on record for 10 years from the violation date (and count as two points).
California DWI & DUI Laws
According to the most recent California DUI Fact Sheet, there were nearly 1,500 alcohol-involved fatalities in 2007.
That may not seem like many, considering there were more than 200,000 DUI arrests, but once you realize that 1,500 people left behind their parents, siblings, children, spouses, friends, and other loved ones, the number becomes staggering.
California DUI Defined
Per California’s driving under the influence (DUI) laws, it’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle with any of the following blood alcohol content (BAC) percentages:
- 0.08% or higher―21 years old or older operating a regular passenger vehicle.
- 0.04% or higher―operating a commercial vehicle.
- 0.01% or higher―younger than 21 years old.
The state’s DUI laws include medications, too. You can’t legally drive if you’ve consumed illegal drugs or:
- Excessive amounts of drugs with alcohol in them (such as cough syrup).
- Prescription medication.
- Over-the-counter medication.
- DUI convictions stay on your driving record for 10 years.
Understand Your DUI Penalties Not all DUI penalties or charges are the same. Depending on your age, license type, and any previous convictions, you could face:
- License suspension.
- Jail time or community service.
- DUI school.
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID).
- SR-22 filing.
DUI Penalties: Younger than 21 Drivers younger than 21 years old face two kinds of alcohol-related offenses, and both affect their driving privileges: possessing alcohol, and violating the Zero Tolerance Law. Possession of Alcohol If you’re younger than 21 years old, you can’t possess alcohol in your vehicle unless the container is full, sealed, and unopened.
You also must either:
- Be with a parent or legal guardian.
- Be working for a person with an off-site liquor license.
Breaking this law leads to:
- Vehicle impoundment for 30 days.
- Fines of up to $1,000.
- License suspension for one year.
Zero Tolerance Law The Zero Tolerance Law is exactly what it sounds like: California won’t tolerate any amount of alcohol (specifically, 0.01% or higher) for drivers younger than 21 years old. The first time you’re charged with drunk driving, you face:
- License suspension for one year.
- The educational portion of DUI school.
- Hundreds of dollars in fines.
Your DUI attorney and judge will inform you of the longer suspension periods, higher fines, and more stringent DUI programs you face if you have a second or subsequent offense. NOTE: Your suspension period is based on whether you submitted to the chemical test. See “Chemical Test Refusal Penalties” below for more information. DUI Penalties: 21 or Older First Offense Immediate license suspension per the state’s Admin Per Se policy. (See below for more information on Admin Per Se suspensions.) License suspension unrelated to Admin Per Se for at least 4 months. Up to 6 months in jail. Up to $1,000 in fines. Keep in mind additional penalty fines and legal fees. $125 fee for license reissue. Installation of an ignition interlock device. DUI program. The length varies depending on factors like your BAC at the time of arrest. SR-22 filing. Second and Subsequent Offenses
- The California Driver Handbook describes penalties for second and subsequent DUI offenses as “increased,” meaning you will face longer jail time and more expensive fines, in addition to the DUI program and SR-22 filing requirement.
- Your license suspension and revocation periods change, too. For example, a second or subsequent offense within 10 years of your prior offense brings license suspension or revocation for at least 1 year.