July 17, 2015 By Matthew Wallin
DUI target
Due to a program which started in 2011, you may be targeted by police for DUI

If you have a prior conviction for driving under the influence (DUI), you probably cannot escape the feeling that you have a target on your back every time you get in your car. Thanks to a recently implemented program by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), you might be right to feel that way.

In 2011, the DMV launched a pilot program with 15 law enforcement agencies aimed to keep repeat DUI offenders off of California’s roads and freeways. In 2014, the program expanded to 35 agencies across the state. The DMV publishes a bi-monthly informational volume called the “Hot List” to each of these agencies. It is a list that contains the name, photo, vehicle description, and license number of any driver who has had his or her license suspended or revoked because of a DUI conviction. This list is then distributed to the agencies patrol teams, creating a profile of those drivers who the DMV believes are likely to re-offend.

The program requires that officers from participating agencies follow a set of rules to prevent unfair enforcement practices.  Each offender’s license status must be verified against the list before the officers take any enforcement action, or before undertaking specifically targeted interventions. The agencies must publicize their use of the Hot List to give fair warning to offenders that they are subject to monitoring. Finally, the agencies are required to provide the DMV with information about how the program is being implemented.

The DMV’s Case for Targeting DUI Repeaters

The DMV’s program has strong statistical support to justify its use. For example:

  • Drivers with at least one DUI conviction are involved in 24% of all fatal DUI vehicle accidents and 63% of collisions that result in one or more injured parties.
  • Within five years of conviction, a driver with a prior DUI is 47% more likely to be arrested for a second DUI than a driver with no prior DUI record is to be arrested for a first offense.[1]

Perhaps most striking is the statistic cited by the DMV’s Director, Jean Shiomoto. “Research shows a staggering 75 percent of drivers who are convicted of DUI continue to drive despite being suspended or revoked,” says Shiomoto.[2]

Harsher Penalties for Repeat Offenders

Penalties for repeat DUI convictions in California increase for each subsequent conviction within a 10-year period. Included in this period are convictions for a “wet reckless” charge, and any convictions that occurred out of state that would have been considered a DUI in California.

On a first conviction for a misdemeanor DUI, you can expect to be punished by:

  • A maximum sentence of six-months in county jail;
  • A fine between $390 and $1,000;
  • Informal probation for a period of three to five years;
  • Enrollment in an alcohol or drug education program for three months; and
  • Suspension of your driver’s license for a minimum of six months, with possibility of conversion to a restricted license to allow for driving to and from work or school.

For a second misdemeanor conviction, you can expect:

  • A minimum of 96 hours in county jail and a maximum of 364 days
  • A fine between $390 and $1,000;
  • Informal probation for a period of three to five years;
  • Enrollment in a “DUI School” program lasting between 18 and 30 months; and

For a third misdemeanor DUI conviction, you can expect to have the above punishments, with the minimum jail term increasing to 120 days, and a revocation of your license for a three-year period, which can be converted to a restricted license after 18 months. If your license is revoked, you must retake the written and road exams to have your license reinstated.

In addition, the DMV will brand you as a “habitual traffic offender,” which will subject you to fines and jail time for accumulating points on your driving record.

Contact the DUI Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today

If you have been charged with a second or third DUI, you know the penalties you are facing and you know that you will need a skilled and aggressive attorney to help you with your defense. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully helping clients like you defeat DUI charges. We know that a DUI case is not always easy for a prosecutor to prove, and we know how to use the science behind alcohol absorption to your advantage. Let us help you now. Contact us today for a free, no obligation phone consultation.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is a Wallin & Klarich attorney experienced in DUI defense near you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.

[1] Jon K Brent, “DMV puts Salinas on the ‘Hot List’ to fight repeat DUI offenders,” KION News, May 21, 2014, available at http://www.kionrightnow.com/news/local-news/dmv-puts-salinas-on-the-hot-list-to-fight-repeat-dui-offenders/26108214.

[2] Id.

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