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California DUI Laws

Each state has it's own drunken driving laws on the books. While the blood alcohol content (BAC) levels are all .08, the punishments vary widely.

And penalties are a lot like real estate values -- it all comes down to location, location, location.

Georgia has mandatory jail time for first offenders. California does not. And in Wisconsin, a first-offense drunken driving isn't even a crime -- it's a civil infraction.

This chart lays out the basics of California DUI law:

California DUI Laws: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Implied Consent

"Per Se" BAC Limit 0.08 Percent
Zero Tolerance (Underage) BAC Limit 0.02 Percent
Enhanced Penalty (Aggravated) BAC Limit 0.16 Percent
Implied Consent

to Submit to BAC Test?


California DUI Laws: Select Penalties

Minimum License Suspension or Revocation

(1st, 2nd, 3rd offense)

6 months, 2 years, up to 10 years
Mandatory Alcohol Education, Assessment and Treatment Both (education if under 21)
Vehicle Confiscation


Ignition Interlock Device


Yes (mandatory for 3rd offense)

California DUI Resources

Consult an Experienced DUI Attorney

If you or a loved one are arrested for DUI, you may need an experienced DUI lawyer. A skilled attorney who specializes in defending DUI cases will evaluate all the evidence, including the procedure and results of any field sobriety and chemical tests, to ensure that your legal rights are protected. Plus it's important to speak to a lawyer familiar with California DUI laws. Most offer free consultations, so your first step should be to contact an experienced California DUI attorney.

Next Steps
Contact a qualified DUI attorney to make sure
your rights are protected.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)

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