Drunk driving laws across the country have become increasingly harsh as states work to reduce the number of accidents caused by alcohol-impaired drivers. This is especially true for repeat offenders. There is no doubt that California has strict DUI laws and the punishment for DUI is severe, but have you ever wondered how strict California’s drunk driving laws are compared to other states in the U.S.? Well, a new study provides some answers.

Study Ranks DUI Laws by State

A recent study conducted by Wallet Hub ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of how strict drunk driving laws are in the state and how far each state goes to prevent DUIs.1

California DUI laws
California DUI laws are strict.

After reviewing the laws for each state, the study’s researchers determined that Arizona has the strictest penalties regarding DUI and ranked second for drunk driving prevention. South Dakota was the least strict, ranking 46th in DUI penalties and 51st for drunk diving prevention.

The study used some of the following factors to determine how strict states are on those convicted of DUI:

  • Minimum jail time
  • When is DUI a felony?
  • How long do old DUI convictions stay on your record
  • Length of license suspension
  • Is DUI school required?
  • Insurance rate increases

Are California DUI Laws Strict? (VC 23152)

So how strict are DUI laws in California? If you are convicted of a first-time DUI under California Vehicle Code Section 23152, you face up to six months in county jail and fines of up to $2,000. In addition, the DMV could suspend your driver’s license for up to six months.

A second DUI within 10 years is punishable by 364 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,000 and a driver’s license suspension of up two years. A third DUI carries the same punishment as a second DUI, and your driver’s license will be revoked by the DMV for three years. Any subsequent DUI within 10 years could be charged as a felony. If you are convicted of felony DUI, you face up to three years in county jail and the DMV could suspend your driver’s license for four years.

The study by Wallet Hub ranked California 31st when it comes to DUI laws. California ranked 23rd in criminal penalties and 38th in drunk driving prevention.

Contact the DUI Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

If you are arrested for DUI in California, you need to speak to an experienced DUI defense

Ventura DUI Defense Attorney
Call an experienced DUI defense attorney now.

attorney immediately. Our skilled DUI lawyers at Wallin & Klarich have been successfully defending our clients facing DUI charges for over 30 years. We know DUI laws are strict, and we are prepared to fight for your freedom.

With offices located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Victorville, Ventura, Torrance, San Bernardino, Riverside and Sherman Oaks, our experienced DUI attorneys are available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.


1. [http://wallethub.com/edu/strictest-states-on-dui/13549/#detailed-findings ]

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