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Difference between First Offense DUI and Second Offense DUI

Posted by attorney Randy Collins

If you are a first-time offender of California Vehicle Code Section 23152 for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) you will be charged with a misdemeanor and subject to numerous punishments depending on whether or not you are convicted or granted probation. A conviction can result in a license suspension by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for 6 months, a fine of $390 - $1,000, and an imprisonment in county jail of 96 hours to 6 months.

If you are granted probation for a first-time offense for DUI then it is illegal to drive a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in your blood for the full probation period of three to five years. You must also agree to provide a blood, breath, or urine test if you are ever arrested for DUI. Other punishments for first-time probation for DUI can include a fine of $390 to $1,000, an imprisonment of 48 hours to 6 months, and the completion of a driving-under-the-influence program. You may also be ordered to complete a 9 month (or longer) state-licensed and approved program of 90 hours or more.

A second-time offender of California Vehicle Code Section 23152 for DUI or DWI, within a ten year period, is subject to more severe punishments than a first-time offender. You will be charged with a misdemeanor and subject to numerous punishments depending on whether or not you are convicted or granted probation. A conviction can result in a license suspension by the DMV for 2 years, a fine of $390 - $1,000, and an imprisonment in county jail of 90 days to 1 year. If the DMV grants you a restricted license than you may be required to use an ignition interlock device as well as provide proof of CA SR22 insurance.

If you are granted probation for a second-time offense for DUI then the DMV may suspend your license for up to 2 years and may also be ordered to complete state-licensed and approved driving-under-the-influence program for 18 to 30 months.

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