Over the last couple of years, Californian state regulations became very severe when it comes to drinking under the influence. California drunk driving penalties are some of the harshest in the country and people who are caught with an alcohol level beyond the legal limit risk high fines, losing their driver’s permit and even jail time.
What is the limit?
Like in any other state California Laws state that any person with a BAC (blood alcohol content) higher that 0.08% is not allowed to drive, regardless of their driving ability. A BAC of 0.08% is usually the equivalent of two beers, but this depends from each person to person. Persons younger than 21 years, however, are not legally allowed to drink. Which means their BAC must be 0.00%. Commercial drivers are limited to a BAC of 0.04%.
What happens if you drink and drive?
The harshness of the penalty you will receive depends on whether it is your first DUI offence, the circumstance and the gravity of your actions. For example, if your drunk driving has caused another human being harm, you will face harsher penalties, risking even jail time or permanent license suspension.
- First offense. If you are caught driving under the influence for the first time, the law will be more lenient towards you, as long as you did not break any other laws. In most cases, you will receive a fine between $400 and $1000. Your driver’s license can also be suspended (this happens if your BAC level is very high) for a maximum of 10 months.
- Second offense. Drunk driving penalties on your second offense are increasingly severe. You can be fined between $1800 and $2800 and have your license suspended for 2 years.
- Third offense. Your third DUI offense can very well be your last. Jail penalties are more likely at this stage, especially if your BAC levels are high. Your licence can be suspended for 3 years or indefinitely. Fines range from $2000 to over $15,000.
If you are accused of driving under the influence, you can face harsh penalties. Make sure you get the right representation by calling one of our lawyers. Visit our website and we will review your case.