Driving under the influence is an offense that can result in severe penalties for those convicted. California is no exception. In the Golden State, it is against the law to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more. An individual can also receive a citation for driving under the influence of any amount of drugs.
Each case is different depending on the circumstances of the offense. Some DUI cases are more severe than others. The penalty for a first DUI may result in up to 6 months in jail, $390 to $1,000 fine, six months license suspension, and an ignition interlock device (IID) requirement of up to 6 months or 12-month. Second and third offenses carry even stricter penalties, naturally.
Repeat offenders can face up to a year in jail, a significantly heftier fine, longer suspensions, and lengthier IID requirements. It is simple to see that getting behind the wheel under the influence is not worth it, but people will continue to think they can avoid apprehension.
California IID and BAC Limit Laws
Existing law requires a person to install an IID following a criminal conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol with a prior DUI conviction or if the incident involved an injury. Legislation introduced recently would change the mandate on IIDs. Senate Bill 545 would “require, instead of authorize, the court, upon the first criminal conviction of a person for driving under the influence, to order the person to install and maintain an IID for a specified period of time. The bill would delete those provisions authorizing a restricted license in lieu of an IID for first offenders.”
“A thousand people are killed every year from drunk drivers and 20,000 are injured. We want to reduce those numbers and this will do it,” said California Sen. Jerry Hill.
Hill introduced the Matthew Klozbach Mandatory Ignition Interlock for DUI Offender Act of 2019, according to KPIX. Matthew is the son of Mothers Against Drunk Driving activist Mary Klozbach; he died in 2001 when a drunk driver struck the family vehicle.
Another bill up for consideration is Senate Bill 1713, KPIX reports. SB-1713, if passed, would change the legal drunk driving limit to .05, down from the current .08. The legislation’s passing would mean California would join Utah in having the strictest BAC rule. We will continue to follow the progress of both SB-545 and SB-1713.
California DUI Attorney
Please contact The Law Office of Ronald G. Brower if you or a loved one is charged with a DUI. Attorney Brower has significant experience in this field of law. He can advocate for you and help secure the most favorable outcome for your case.