What Are the Penalties for DUI and DWI in California?


Quick Answer

Minimum penalties for DUI and DWI offenses in California include a $390 fine plus over $1,000 in ordinary penalty assessments, says Nolo. Maximum penalties for DUI and DWI offenses include 10 days or 96 hours in jail and the installation of an interlock device on all vehicles the defendant owns.

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Full Answer

There are a few different levels of DUI offenses in California, so penalties are based upon those levels, including if the DUI was the defendant's first offense, if someone was badly injured or killed as a result of the DUI, or if the blood alcohol content was extremely high or at the minimum amount as determined by law, explains Nolo.

If a defendant is being sentenced for his third DUI offense, and there is no bodily injury or death as a result, penalties imposed by the court may include a $390 fine, $1,000 in assessments, and DUI-only assessments that may total up to $1,800. Jail time of 120 days in jail or 180 days for a fourth offense could also be imposed, as well as the revocation of the defendant's driver's license for three years. The defendant may need to complete a 30-month multi-offender program to regain driving privileges, says Nolo.

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