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Did you get arrested for driving under the influence?  Don't panic and don't despair.  Although dealing with a DUI may be costly (fines, fees, DMV classes, ignition interlock devices, etc.), you will survive and may even learn important lessons in the process.  But understand that you do NOT have to navigate the DMV and court process alone.  Consulting an experienced attorney will help remove the "unknowns" about the process and thus eliminate the fear you may now be facing.  Call today for your free consultation! 

Sacramento Office:  916-706-1351   |   El Dorado County Office 530-497-5921

California has some of the most stringent impaired driving (DUI) laws in the country. A first offense (without bodily injury) is punishable by more than $2,000 in fines and assessments, 48 hours in jail, months of license suspension, and completion of a three-month alcohol education program. If you commit a second or third DUI offense within a 10-year period, you can face even longer mandatory county jails sentences. If your commit more than 3 DUI offenses within a 10-year period, or you cause an injury to a 3rd party (even a passenger in your car) while driving under the influence, you may be sentenced to as much as three years in state prison, roughly $18,000 in fines and assessments, and the requirement of a 30-month alcohol treatment program. Don't try to navigate this legal minefield alone.  Understanding the law will not only help you avoid committing a DUI, but also help you plan your next steps if you have been arrested and charged with a DUI.  

The following chart lays out the basics of California DUI law, including blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits, penalties, and information about license suspension.

California DUI Laws: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Implied Consent

"Per Se" BAC Limit (presumed to be impaired) 0.08 Percent BAC
Zero Tolerance (Underage) BAC Limit 0.02 Percent BAC
Enhanced Penalty (Aggravated) BAC Limit Over 0.15 Percent BAC
Implied Consent

to Submit to BAC Test?

California law requires licensed drivers to submit to a blood alcohol test after being arrested for a DUI and refusal to do so can subject you to as much as a one year driver's license suspension.  

California DUI Laws: Select Penalties

Minimum License Suspension or Revocation

(1st, 2nd, 3rd offense)

6 months, 2 years, up to 10 years
Mandatory Alcohol Education, Assessment and Treatment If you are convicted of DUI you will be required to complete an alcohol education class
Vehicle Confiscation


Your vehicle can be impounded if you are arrested for DUI
Ignition Interlock Device


An ignition interlock device is a breath alcohol measuring device that gets installed in your vehicle and is connected to your vehicle's ignition preventing your car from starting if the driver has any alcohol in their system.

Note: State laws are always changing through legislative, judicial, or other means. It's a good idea to thoroughly research the law or check with an attorney to make sure you have the most recent information. 

Admin Per Se Immediate Driver License Suspension or Revocation

Under the administration license suspension program ("Admin Per Se"), motorists may have their driver's license automatically suspended or revoked. This includes those who have been arrested for a DUI and:

  • Register a 0.01% BAC while on probation; or
  • Refuse to take a BAC test
Those who are affected have 10 days to request a hearing in regard to the suspension or revocation. 

California DUI Resources

Get Professional Legal Help From a California DUI Attorney 

Call the Law Offices of Dale R. Gomes for your free consultation!

First Offender Programs 

A person convicted of a first DUI offense must complete a state-licensed 3-month, 30-hour alcohol and drug education and counseling program. A person convicted of a first DUI offense with a blood alcohol content of 0.20 or higher must complete a state-licensed nine-month, 60-hour alcohol and drug education and counseling program. These programs are designed to enable participants to consider attitudes and behavior, support positive lifestyle changes, and reduce or eliminate the use of alcohol and/or drugs.

Find a program in your local area by going to this page:  Licensed Driving Under the Influence Provider Directory - Licensed Driving Under the Influence Provider Directory 

18-Month Programs 

Second and subsequent DUI offenders must complete an 18-month multiple offender program. Program requirements are: 52 hours of group counseling; 12 hours of alcohol and drug education; 6 hours of community reentry monitoring; and biweekly individual interviews during the first 12 months of the program.

30-Month Programs

A county may elect to provide 30-month DUI programs for third and subsequent DUI offenders.  Program requirements are: 78 hours of group counseling; 12 hours of alcohol and drug education; 120-300 hours of community service; and close and regular individual interviews.  

Get Professional Legal Help From a California DUI Attorney 

Call the Law Offices of Dale R. Gomes for your free consultation!


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We are conveniently located in both Sacramento and El Dorado Counties with an office on Capital Mall in Sacramento and another office on Main Street in Placerville. Call for a free consultation now!