First offender

  • Possible penalties
    Up to six months jail
  • Up to $1000 fine
    (Assessments increase fine up to $2500 or more)
  • DUI alcohol school of six weeks to nine months
  • Denial of any restricted license
    (meaning, if the DMV suspends your license
    for four to ten months, you can’t drive and
    can’t get a restricted license to drive to work)
  • Installation of ignition interlock device
    (you must blow into it before starting the car)
  • Informal probation (no probation officer) or
    formal probation (probation officer)
  • Total prohibition of all drinking (no social drinking)
  • Prohibition of your being in any location selling
    alcohol (bars)

Special penalties

    • Speeding 60 days jail
      if 20+ over limit + reckless driving
    • .15% or higher alcohol
      more jail, fine, longer school
    • .20% or higher alcohol
      10 month license suspension
      nine month DUI school
      more custody, higher fine
    • Child under 14 yrs old in car
      two days jail for each child
    • Accident no injuries
      more custody, fines, school
    • Accident with injuries
      Minimum 5 to 90 days jail


Multiple offenders
Possible penalties include

Second offenders 
(prior DUI arrest within 10 years):

  • Minimum 4 or 10 days jail to one year jail
  • 18 to 30 month alcohol school
  • Two year license suspension
  • Ignition interlock

Third offenders 
(two prior DUI arrests within 10 years)

  • Minimum 30 days OR 120 days jail, up to one year jail
  • 18 to 30 month alcohol school
  • Three year license revocation

Fourth offenders 
(three prior DUI arrests with 10 years)

  • Possible felony
  • Minimum 180 days jail
  • Up to one year jail if misdemeanor
    or three years state prison if felony
  • 18 to 30 month alcohol school
  • Four year license revocation


TIP: One important reason to have an attorney handle a case is that even if you are successful in getting your court case dismissed, the DMV still may proceed against you. If you fail to either set your DMV hearing within the 10 day period or lose the DMV hearing, you may have the following terrible situation: even though your court case was dismissed, your license is suspended by the DMV, and to get your license back, you must enroll in and successfully complete the DUI school program. Worse yet, if, in the next 10 years, you are arrested for a second DUI, the DMV can suspend your license for two years, even though the courts will treat the second arrest as a first offense. However, there is a special procedure in court to assure that the DMV cannot proceed against your license through a process of being found factually not guilty. The moral of the story: retain an attorney.

DISCLAIMER: The results of any person’s DUI case described on this web site and/or in the Bay Area DUI Law newsletter depend on factual and legal circumstances that are unique to a specific person. Information provided by this web site and/or the Bay Area DUI Law newsletter does NOT constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. Any reference to laws, procedures, punishment or license consequences at court or the DMV in this web site and/or Bay Area DUI Law newsletter is NOT intended to be complete description of what can and will happen in any or every DUI case but instead is a simplified summary to facilitate the reader’s understanding of general issues involving DUI law. The law is in constant change; penalties and consequences change; as such, the reader should not and cannot rely upon anything mentioned in this web site and/or Bay Area DUI Law newsletter. The reader is strongly advised to seek competent legal counsel to ascertain the law, penalties and consequences that apply to his/her unique circumstances.