The minimum punishment is still 120 days for a third DUI within 10 years in California per VC Section 23548, but if a person enters and completes a specified program the minimum can be 30 days.
How that time is served, however, varies widely -- and sometimes dramatically -- across California's counties. And by that, I mean actual jail time -- where a person is confined in a jail -- varies widely. Many judges in different counties allow alternative sentencing (e.g. work project, electronic monitoring) or credit for in-patient programs.
Either way, a person facing a third DUI should make an unflinchingly honest personal assessment of his/her ability to continue to drink alcohol. In my opinion, some form of treatment is indicated. Judges often give credit for residential treatment (as opposed to outpatient), and sometimes for outpatient programs.
Check with an experienced DUI attorney in your county. I recommend starting with the California DUI Lawyers Association (CDLA). Google it. A felony DUI is just one drive away for a person with a chronic drinking problem. By the time you've been convicted three times, it is well past time to address the underlying issue through a recovery program, counseling, etc.
The jail can be reduced to 30 days if the defendant enters a court approved program. However, the actual application of this across different counties varies widely. It's best to consult an experienced DUI attorney in your area who will know the specific issues. Good luck.
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Be advised that the Santa Clara County Judges seem to have a unified approach to the sentencing on a 3rd DUI. 180 Days. Were you on probation from the second DUI at the time if the stop for the third one?
I believe you are referring to the little know 30/30 program. This is where the defendant serves 30 days and then must complete a 30 month alcohol program.
This is a sometimes tricky maneuver and not many attorneys (even some veteran DUI attorneys) are even aware that this is an option.
This is why, if you or a loved one are facing such a charge, you owe it to yourself to get the best possible representation you can.
The 30/30 program has to be approved and ordered by the court. Some judges are reluctant to sentence to the 30/30 program because of the lengthy alcohol education program that many have a hard time completing. Good luck.
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