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|
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)|
|Ignition Interlock Device
|Yes (mandatory for 3rd offense)|
California DUI Resources
- California DUI Statutes: Offenses Involving Alcohol or Drugs (California Vehicle Code Sections 23152 - 23229.1)
- California DUI: General Information - Overview of California DUI laws and penalties (Ca. DMV).
- Ignition Interlock Devices - Information about IIDs and a list of providers (Ca. DMV).
- California DMV Offices - Directory of California DMV field offices, which handle the license reinstatement process (Ca. DMV).
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.