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How can you get a DUI in California and what are the penalties?

Dale Gribow Dec. 12, 2014

Everyone who reads the question posed in the title will likely answer in the same way. “A blood alcohol level of 0.08, duh!” This is true — if your blood alcohol content exceeds the 0.08 limit set in every state, then you are subject to a driving under the influence charge. However, there are also modifiers to that DUI law in certain states, such as in California.

Here in California, you are subject to an enhanced DUI charge if your BAC exceeds 0.16. Enhanced DUIs carry greater penalties. There is also a DUI for underage drinkers and drivers. If such a person is caught and their BAC exceeds 0.02, they are subject to this underage DUI.

In addition to these different charges, California also observes implied consent. Implied consent means that if you have the privilege to drive (i.e. if you have a driver’s license) then you automatically consent to an officer’s request for a field sobriety test or a BAC test.

Given all of these factors, what types of penalties are possible for someone who violates any of the DUI laws here in California? Well, you may have to get an ignition interlock. Such a device is required if an individual receives three DUIs. You could also lose your license, with the length of the suspension ranging from six months (first offense) to two years (second offense) to a decade (third offense). Your vehicle could also be confiscated and you may have to go to alcohol education and treatment classes.