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What happens if you face a second DUI conviction?

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2024 | DUI

If a California court convicts a person of driving under the influence (DUI) of either alcohol or drugs, the penalties are severe even for a first offense. Apart from a fine, convicted drivers face up to 48 hours of imprisonment in county jail and a suspension of their driving privileges.

But what happens if you’re convicted of a second DUI offense?

The penalties increase for a second offense

Per state law, if a person faces a DUI conviction within 10 years of a previous violation, they’ll face enhanced penalties. Those punishments include a county jail sentence between 90 days and one year and up to $1,000 in fines. The state Department of Motor Vehicles will also suspend the person’s driving privileges for two years but may grant the driver a restricted license after 12 months once the driver meets certain conditions.

Also under California law, a court can require the driver to serve a mandatory 48 consecutive hours of imprisonment – or at least 10 days of community service – as part of the sentence. The court can also order the driver to undergo alcohol education, assessment and treatment.

Ignition interlock requirements

A court can order a driver convicted of their second DUI in 10 years to install and maintain an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicle for a year. Driving with an IID is one of the requirements for a person to regain their lost driving privileges. However, the driver is responsible for furnishing the costs to install and rent an IID for a year.

A second DUI conviction carries significant legal, financial, and personal consequences. If you’re faced with a second criminal charge, don’t underestimate what a second conviction would lead to – the penalties are far worse than a first conviction. Consider consulting a legal professional with criminal defense experience who can guide you through the procedure and help explain your rights.