Shortly after being arrested for a DUI, you may be overwhelmed with
possible questions regarding Orange County DUI Punishment. What are the consequences of Drunk Driving in Orange
County? What will happen to your drivers license? Is a DUI a felony,
or a misdemeanor? Will you go to jail? This section will provide
answers to some of your questions about punishment.
The minimum penalties for DUI charged as a misdemeanor, and not a felony,
includes all of the following:
- – Informal, or summary, probation for three to five years
- – Six months in the county jail
- – Six months license suspension
- – A fine of $1,000 plus penalty assessment, or a total of $2110, (the minimum is $390 plus penalty assessment); (The “penalty assessment” is a state tax created by statute in the late 1960s, and is now larger than the fine. Currently, the penalty assessment is 171% of the fine, meaning that on a $100 fine, the total payment is $271 almost triple the original fine. Current legislation pending will increase the penalty assessment).
- – Contribution of $100 to the California State Restitution Fund
- – Proof of enrollment in, and proof of completion at, a Level 1, orAB-541 Alcohol Education Program
- – An “Alcohol Abuse Prevention” fee of $50.00
- – A “Blood Alcohol Content” testing fee of $37.00
- – A Court security fee of $20.00.
What makes a DUI a misdemeanor instead of a felony?
A DUI is a felony if there was an accident with “great bodily injury”, or if there are three or more priors. Most DUI cases are not felonies.
What are the Laws?
California Vehicle Code 23152 makes it against the law to operate a motor vehicle on California roads if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, or if you are legally impaired—regardless of his or her ability to drive. However, state law also prohibits underage motorists (those under 21) from driving with any amount of alcohol in their system at all (a BAC above 0.00%), while commercial drivers are deemed impaired with a BAC of 0.04% or higher.
A driver can also be arrested for DUI if they refuse to submit a breath, or blood sample to a police officer so that he or she can determine your exact BAC—a process known as chemical testing. If you do not submit to these tests, you can expect to be arrested for the refusal.
Most cases are a first time offense. But if you have a prior conviction on your record, a second offense carries up to a one-year jail sentence, $1,000 fine, one-year license suspension, and five years of probation. You can also expect harsher punishment if you had an extremely high BAC (above 0.15%), were traveling with a passenger under the age of 14, or were driving 20 miles or more above the speed limit at the time of your arrest.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to challenge a drunk driving arrest. If the officer who stopped you lacked probable cause for pulling you over, for example, your charges may be dismissed. You may even be able to challenge your chemical test results if you suffer from acid reflux disease or used breath mints, mouthwash, or gum shortly before the test was administered.
If you have questions for our Orange County DUI Attorneys, contact our firm today.