Assuming there is no bodily injury or death resulting from the DUI, the minimum terms for a misdemeanor first conviction are as follows:
The maximum penalties for a misdemeanor first DUI conviction in California is a $1,000 fine plus over $2,600 in penalty assessments, six months’ imprisonment in the county jail, a six-month license suspension ; ten months for blood alcohol level of 0.15% or more, having your vehicle “impounded” (stored at your expense) for 30 days, and being required to attach an “interlock” breath device to your vehicle that will not allow the car to start if there is any alcohol on your breath. This will cost you about $800.
Almost all first-time offenders are placed on probation for three to five years. If you violate any of the terms of your probation, you can face a nonjury hearing where additional penalties can be applied. The standard conditions of probation include: (1) not driving with any measurable amount of alcohol in your system, (2) submitting to a blood or roadside breathalyzer (PAS) test upon the request of a police officer and (3) refraining from further violations of the law (no further misdemeanors -- ordinary traffic infractions don’t count).
If no one is injured or killed as a result of the DUI, the minimum penalties a judge will impose for a second DUI conviction (within 10 years of the first DUI) include the following:
The maximum penalties for a misdemeanor second conviction within ten years of a prior conviction (counted from the date of the previous offense to the date of the second offense) include: a $1,000 fine plus penalty assessments for a total of approximately $3,000, one year in jail, a two-year license suspension by the DMV, impoundment of your vehicle for up to 30 days at your expense, and
required installation of an “interlock” device on all vehicles you own.
Assuming there is no bodily injury or death resulting from the DUI, the minimum penalties are as follows:
The maximum penalties for a third and fourth offense within ten years are as follows: a $5,000 fine plus over $13,000 in penalty assessments for a total of $18,000, one year in jail for a third offense; 16 months in state prison for a fourth offense, if charged as a felony, impoundment of your vehicle for up to 90 days or even forfeiture and loss of your vehicle, revocation of your driver’s license for three years (third offense) or four years (fourth offense), and a 30-month alcohol treatment program before getting your license restored.
If someone is killed or injured as the result of driving under the influence of alcohol, or while blood alcohol is 0.08% or more, the driver can be found guilty of a felony and could go to state prison for over a year, and possibly for up to five years, depending on whether it’s the driver's first, second, or third offense. Prior convictions for misdemeanor under-the-influence or over-0.08% driving count as prior offenses for the purpose of increasing the prison sentence. So do prior convictions of alcohol-related reckless driving. The jury (and sometimes the judge) will have the option of reducing the offense to a misdemeanor, but even in such cases, the person convicted could still spend up to a year in the county jail—and probably will, since judges take DUI extremely seriously under these circumstances. Also, a person faced with a fourth drunk-driving charge over a ten-year period may be charged with a felony, even where no one was injured as a result of the offense.