In California, it is a crime to drive a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or while your blood alcohol content is equal to or above .08 percent (California Vehicle Code Section 23152). There are a number of consequences and punishments that accompany a first time DUI conviction.

Section 23536 of the California Vehicle Code provides that if a person is convicted of a first time DUI, that person shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 96 hours, at least 48 hours of which must be continuous. Section 23536 also provides that a person cannot be imprisoned for more than 6 months and must be punished by a fine of not less than three hundred and ninety dollars ($390) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1000).

For a first time DUI conviction, a person who is punished by imprisonment in the county jail will have the option to serve that time on days other than days of regular employment. If the court determines that the 48 hours of continuous imprisonment would interfere with the person’s work schedule, the court will allow the person to serve the imprisonment whenever the person is normally scheduled for time off of work.

In addition to the fines and the jail time, first-time offenders will have their licenses suspended until they have enrolled and successfully completed any and all alcohol awareness programs assigned by the court. The court will refer a first-time offender whose blood-alcohol concentration was less than 0.20 percent, by weight, to participate for at least three months or longer, as ordered by the court, in a licensed program that consists of at least 30 hours of program activities, including education, group counseling, and individual interview sessions.

The court will refer a first-time offender whose blood-alcohol concentration was 0.20 percent or more, by weight, or who refused to take a chemical test, to participate for at least nine months or longer, as ordered by the court, in a licensed program that consists of at least 60 hours of program activities, including education, group counseling, and individual interview sessions.

Whenever a person’s license is suspended, the court will advise the person at the time of sentencing that the driving privilege shall not be restored until proof satisfactory to the department of successful completion of a driving-under-the-influence program has been received in the department’s headquarters. Even if charges have been dismissed, your license will remain suspended until the Department of Motor Vehicles is satisfied that you are a safe driver.

If you or a loved one find yourself facing a DUI charge, it is important to seek knowledgeable legal counsel. At Wallin and Klarich, our DUI attorneys have the experience and skills needed to provide you with the best defense against your DUI charge. Our Southern California DUI attorneys will explain the legal process that occurs following a DUI arrest which can be very complicated. Our DUI attorneys have the necessary expertise to seek ways to get charges reduced and ensure your rights are protected. Contact our aggressive attorneys today by calling (877) 466-5245. We will be there when you call.

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