California DUI Laws


California DUI Laws

California DUI law penalties, fines, requirements & information.

California DUI Laws Overview and Common DUI Questions


Q. I’ve been arrested for DUI in California, what should I do?

A. If you’ve been arrested or charged with DUI / DWI in California, the first thing you should do is talk with an experienced local DUI lawyer!  California DUI laws are complex and have severe consequences.  An experienced California DUI lawyer will be able to negotiate the best possible outcome for your DUI.  Call 1.855.700.0754 for a FREE California DUI consultation with a local DUI lawyer.


Q. What is the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit in California?

A. Like all states in America, the BAC legal limit in California for adults is .08%.  You will be charged with a DUI in California if you are found to have a BAC higher than .08.  California DUI laws state that an underage minor can be charged with DUI if they have a BAC higher than .01%.


Q. Does California have an aggravated DUI charge if my BAC is extremely high?

A. Yes, California does have a enhanced or aggravated DUI penalty if your BAC is over .16%


Q. Do I have to take a field sobriety test or chemical test in California?

A. Just like most states in America, California DUI laws include “implied consent”, which means you are required to submit to field sobriety tests or chemical testing, or you will face severe consequences.


Q. If I’m convicted of DUI in California, will I lose my car?

A. Yes, if convicted of a DUI offence in California it is possible your vehicle will be confiscated.


Q. Will I have to use an ignition interlock device if I’m convicted of DUI in California?

A. If convicted of DUI in California, yes it is mandatory in some counties that on your first offence you will receive a ignition interlock device.


Q. How much does a DUI in California cost?

A. If convicted of DUI in California for a first time offense, you can expect to be facing around $6,000 to $10,000 in fines and legal fees.


Q. Will a California DUI conviction increase my auto insurance?

A. Yes, a DUI conviction in a California could increase your insurance by $2,000 to $6,000.


Q. Is there a chance that I can lose my license if convicted of a DUI in California?

A. Yes, license suspension or revocation is possible if convicted of a DUI in California.  The duration of a suspension varies by the type of DUI offense in California.  A first time DUI offense in California faces 30-300 days suspension, second DUI offense faces two years suspension, and a third DUI offense faces a suspension for three years.


Q. Will I have to serve jail time if I’m convicted of a DUI in California?

A. Yes, If convicted of a DUI offense in California you may face between 4 days to 6 months in jail.

Overview of California DUI Law Penalties, Fines, Jail Time & Requirements

Penalties & Fines For First DUI Conviction in California

  • Imprisonment – A minimum of 4 days to 6 months
  • Fine – Up to $1,000
  • Mandatory – DUI school attendance and ignition interlock device required in some counties
  • DL Revocation – 1-10 months

Penalties & Fines For Second DUI Conviction in California

  • Imprisonment – Minimum 10 days to a year
  • Fine – Up to $1,800
  • Mandatory – DUI school attendance and required ignition interlock device for a year
  • DL Revocation – 2 year

Penalties & Fines For Third DUI Conviction in California

  • Imprisonment – Minimum of 120 days to a year
  • Mandatory – DUI school attendance, and required ignition interlock device for a year
  • Fine – Up to $1,800
  • DL Revocation – 3 years

Penalties & Fines For Fourth & Subsequent DUI Convictions In California (Class C Felony DUI)

  • Imprisonment – 16 months
  • Mandatory – DUI school attendance with ignition interlock device
  • Fine – $18,000
  • DL Revocation – 4 years

California DUI Laws Apply To All Counties in California


  • Alameda County
  • Alpine County
  • Amador County
  • Butte County
  • Calaveras County
  • Colusa County
  • Contra Costa County
  • Del Norte County
  • El Dorado County
  • Fresno County
  • Glenn County
  • Humboldt County
  • Imperial County
  • Inyo County
  • Kern County


  • Kings County
  • Lake County
  • Lassen County
  • Los Angeles County
  • Madera County
  • Marin County
  • Mariposa County
  • Mendocino County
  • Merced County
  • Modoc County
  • Mono County
  • Monterey County
  • Napa County
  • Nevada County
  • Orange County


  • Placer County
  • Plumas County
  • Riverside County
  • Sacramento County
  • San Benito County
  • San Bernardino County
  • San Diego County
  • San Francisco County
  • San Joaquin County
  • San Luis Obispo County
  • San Mateo County
  • Santa Barbara County
  • Santa Clara County
  • Santa Cruz County
  • Shasta County


  • Sierra County
  • Siskiyou County
  • Solano County
  • Sonoma County
  • Stanislaus County
  • Sutter County
  • Tehama County
  • Trinity County
  • Tulare County
  • Tuolumne County
  • Ventura County
  • Yolo County
  • Yuba County