DUI Penalties in Ventura, CA
California DUI Laws
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is taken very seriously in California. Drunk driving may be considered a misdemeanor or felony offense – depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest.
At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP we are dedicated to helping drivers in Ventura, CA avoid unnecessary DUI penalties.
California Vehicle Code § 23152 states that it is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In all fifty states, law enforcement considers a driver "under the influence" when his/her blood alcohol content (BAC) equals or exceeds .08%. California Vehicle Code §23152(b) states that a motorist will be considered under the influence if his/her BAC exceeds .08% within three hours of operating a motor vehicle.
Misdemeanor DUI Penalties
Your first misdemeanor DUI is punishable by three to five years of informal probation, up to six months of incarceration in a county jail, a three or nine month alcohol education program, and six to ten months with a suspended driver's license. Additionally, you may have to pay a $390 to $1,000 fine. If you are unable to pay the fine, this penalty can be exchanged for 13 days in jail or 13 days of Cal-Trans roadside work.
Second DUI offenses are punishable by three to five years of summary (informal) probation and a minimum of 96 hours in a county jail. You may be sentenced to one year in a county jail, a fine between $390 and $1,000, an 18- to 30-month DUI education program, and two years of drivers' license suspension. After six months, you may be able to obtain a restricted drivers' license.
After your third DUI offense, the DMV may label you as a "habitual offender." You may be sentenced to between three years and five years of probation, between 120 days and one year in a county jail, and a $1,000 fine. You may also be required complete a 30-month, court-approved, drunk driving education program as well. Additionally, your driver's license may be revoked for three years.
DUI with Injury (Felony & Misdemeanor)
DUI with injury may result in a felony or misdemeanor charge. If convicted of misdemeanor DUI with injury, you may be subject to the following penalties:
- Three to five years of informal probation
- Incarceration in a county jail for five days to one year
- A $390 to $1,000 fine
- An 18-month or 30-month alcohol program
- License restriction for one to three years
- Restitution for injured persons
Felony DUI is punishable by at least 16 months in a state prison. You may be sentenced to ten years in a California state prison with an additional six years of incarceration, depending on the severity and number of injuries. Felony DUI with injury is punishable by a $5,000 fine and 30-month alcohol program. The DMV may label you as a habitual traffic offender for three years and, like misdemeanor DUI with injury, you may be required to pay restitution to each person who suffered an injury.