This year saw the implementation of new DUI regulations. These new laws are intended to make the roads safer for everyone while also reducing the rate of drunk driving incidents. These new legislations may impact your case if you are convicted of a DUI in California.
1. Prior convictions now count as a separate offense
Previously, the DMV would only list a past DUI conviction as one offense if you had one. Beginning in 2022, however, each past conviction has been treated as a separate offense. This also applies to out-of-state DUI convictions. This means that if you have two past DUI convictions on your record, the DMV will count them as three. This is significant because the number of past DUI convictions on your record is one of the elements used to determine the severity of your sentence if you are convicted of a DUI.
2. High BAC levels are now considered an aggravating factor
In California, the legal limit for driving under the influence is.08%. If you are found driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of.15% or greater, you will face an aggravated DUI charge. DUIs that are aggravated face harsher consequences than normal DUIs. If you are convicted of aggravated DUI, you could face up to a year in jail, a $1000 fine, and your license might be suspended for up to 2 years. You may also be forced to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
3. Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock device
An ignition interlock device is a unique breathalyzer device that you install in your car. To start your vehicle, you must blow into the device and register a BAC that is below the legal limit. If you are convicted of driving under the influence, you may be obliged to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. The length of time you must have the device is determined by how severe your case was and the presence of any priors. If you are on your third DUI offense, you must have the device for two years, and if you are on your fourth or subsequent DUI crime, you will be required to have the device for three years.
4. Mandatory DUI treatment program
If you are convicted of DUI, you may be ordered to enroll in a DUI treatment program. The duration of the program will be determined by the gravity of your crime and whether you have a history of DUI convictions. The program is usually three months long for first-time offenders but can last up to 12 months for 3rd offenders. For a fourth and subsequent offense, you may be required to complete an eighteen-month or thirty-month program.
5. Enhanced penalties for drivers with Minors under 14 at the time of the arrest
If you are convicted of DUI, and a child under the age of 14 was in the vehicle at the time of the offense, you may face harsher penalties. The enhanced penalties could include a higher fine, obligatory jail time, and your license being suspended for up to two years.
As you can see, there have been quite a handful of significant developments this year that may impact your life if you are convicted of a DUI. Remember that these are only suggestions, and you should always consult with an attorney if you have specific questions regarding your case or California law. If you have any questions about how these changes may affect you, please contact us. We are experts at defending DUI cases (learn how we do it) and would be delighted to assist you in understanding how the law works and what fines you may face, and we will guide you throughout the process.
You do not have to face criminal charges alone if you work with Criminal Defense Heroes P.C. Your case will be given individual attention and dedication. We will be present in and out of court with you from start to finish. For over a decade, we have represented people accused of DUI in the South Bay of California. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!