In California, repeat DUI offenders face stiff penalties. For example, a first time DUI offender may face a six-month license suspension and fines of up to $1,800. A person’s second DUI offense could result in a mandatory jail time of up to 30 days, a two-year license suspension, and up to $2,800 in penalties. A third DUI offense will result in a mandatory year-long jail sentence coupled with a three-year license suspension. A new law, which will go into effect in 2012, will further penalize fourth-time DUI offenders by taking away their driving privileges for 10 years.
Under California Vehicle Code 23597, there will be enhanced penalties for drivers who have had four DUI convictions within a 10-year period. The court will potentially have the power to enforce a decade-long license suspension to anyone who has been convicted of three or more DUI offenses. The court will take into consideration the amount of time between each conviction and the circumstances of the arrests.
The new law would provide repeat offenders an opportunity to have their 10-year suspension reduced to five years if they have had no other drug or alcohol convictions during that time. While the bill could cause some repeat DUI offenders to think twice about driving under the influence, it can have devastating consequences on the lives and livelihoods of those wrongfully convicted of a DUI in California.
With these increasing penalties for DUI offenders, it is important that every drunk driving charge is fought every step of the way. If you have been accused of drunk driving in Los Angeles, Orange or Ventura counties, please contact the experienced Los Angeles DUI defense lawyers of Sitkoff & Hanrahan. You can reach our office directly at 866-430-8383 for a free, comprehensive, and completely confidential consultation.