What happens if you get multiple DUIs in California?

On Behalf of | Oct 17, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Driving under the influence is a serious offense in California. Consequences become more severe with each conviction, including longer license suspension, larger fines and jail time.

If you face a second, third or subsequent DUI, you should understand the potential penalties of a guilty verdict.

License suspension

For a second DUI offense, you can receive a license suspension for up to two years compared to six months for a first offense. For a third offense, suspension increases to up to three years.

Mandatory jail time

The state mandates jail time for multiple DUIs. For a second DUI offense, you face a minimum of 96 hours in jail, and for a third offense, the minimum sentence increases to 120 days in jail.

DUI education

Convicted individuals must attend a DUI education program designed to reduce repeat offenses. For a first offense, the program typically lasts three months. You must attend an 18-month education program after a second conviction and a 30-month session after a third conviction.

Increased fines

A first-time DUI conviction may result in fines of around $1,800. while multiple DUIs can lead to significantly higher fines. The state estimates that the average offense comes with about $4,000 in DUI fines. That does not include court fees or the cost of your required education program.

Ignition interlock device

The court may require individuals with multiple DUIs to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles. An IID prevents the car from starting if the driver has been drinking. The length of IID installation increases with subsequent DUI convictions.

Impact on insurance

Multiple DUIs lead to higher insurance premiums or difficulty in obtaining coverage. Some insurance companies may drop you as a customer.

California has a ten-year “lookback period,” so the state only considers offenses in the past 10 years if you get a new DUI offense.  Older convictions do not affect your penalties for the current case.