DUI Laws in California

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Driving is considered a privilege and individuals convicted for drunk driving will receive serious consequences. DUI laws in the state of California are like those in most other states, although they are a bit stricter for underage drivers who have been caught drinking and driving. First offenders may have a long road before they get their license back, however, it is possible to avoid jail time and have a driver’s license back on a restricted basis within one month. For second and subsequent offenders however, the penalties, fines and restrictions become much more severe.

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Basic DUI Laws For The State Of California

If an individual is caught and arrested for drunk driving in California, they have violated the California vehicle code, which states that it is against the law for anyone to operate or be in control of a motor vehicle while they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is also illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a level of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at .08 percent or higher, and a drunk driver will be charged on both of these counts. Even with a BAC of lower than .08 percent, a driver can still be charged if they are deemed, through a police officer’s observation or their failure of field sobriety tests, to be in a condition where they are unable to safely operate a vehicle.

Penalties Associated With Driving Under The Influence In California

When an individual is arrested for drunk driving, the police officer is required to revoke or suspend the driver’s license. They must take the license, and send it along with a revocation or suspension form and a copy of the arrest report to the California DMV. It is critically important for a driver to request, within 10 days, a DMV administrative hearing regarding their license suspension. If they do not do this, their license suspension or revocation will automatically take place. If a person’s license is suspended, they may be able to apply at the DMV for a restricted license. The first offense conviction for drivers 21 years of age or older will result in a suspension of their license for four months. Second offenders will get a one-year suspension. Anybody who refuses a breath, urine or blood test will get a one-year mandatory license suspension if they are a first offender, and a two-year suspension for a second time offender since California deems that by accepting a driver’s license, an individual implies their consent to take these tests.

How much is auto insurance after a DUI?

In the state of California, any driver under 21 years old will have their drivers license suspended for one year if they have a BAC of .01%. This is stricter than other states, where the BAC for people under 21 is usually .02%. The state of California may or may not grant probation, and either way, a DUI conviction will get first offenders up to six months in jail. If probation is granted, there is a chance of avoiding jail time altogether, however if there is no probation granted, the minimum jail time is 96 hours.

Fines will also be assessed, and first-time offenders will pay fines ranging from $390 to $1,000. If a driver has been convicted of a DUI, but chooses to enroll in a DUI school, they can reduce their license suspension to a one-month period coupled with five months of a restricted license. If they did not submit to testing when they were arrested, they will have the one-year suspension with no option for gaining a restricted license.

SR-22 Requirements In The State Of California

The purpose of an SR-22 filing is to verify that a high-risk driver has a current liability insurance policy in force. The majority of states require this form for people who have received a DUI conviction. In California, the SR-22 filing needs to be maintained for a minimum of three years, or whatever suspension period is ordered by the court. If an individual is mandated to have an SR-22 policy in one state, moving to a different state will not negate this requirement, and the person will still need to meet the SR-22 policy requirements of their former residence state.

Effects Of A DUI On The Cost Of Car Insurance

A DUI conviction stays on a driving record for 10 years in the state of California. Even though any insurance company considers drivers with a DUI on their record a higher risk, rates will still vary greatly from one company to the other. It is important to shop around for insurance, and before choosing a policy it may be wise to check with the California Department of insurance to verify that the insurance company or broker is in good standing.

If an individual has received a DUI conviction in the state of California, there are insurance companies that will be able to provide SR -22 insurance policies and possible even offer same-day SR-22 filings for help getting high-risk drivers insured. Additionally, larger carriers such as AIS, The General Car Insurance, and Progressive Insurance will also write SR-22 policies.

The state of California requires drivers to be insured, and therefore has a duty to make sure that every driver can get coverage. If a person finds they cannot get insured, an organization called AIPSO can help connect drivers with companies that will assist them when they have a need for an SR-22 policy and cannot find a company to insure them. By searching the website AIPSO.com for plans in the state of California, individuals can find information on the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan which can provide them assistance.

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