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California DUI: Conditions of Probation

Those arrested for drunk driving in California face the possibility of probation. Probation can be granted in addition to jail time and other penalties, or a DUI offender could only face probation and no jail time. This differs from case to case, but the terms of probation for DUI offenses are detailed in the California Vehicle Code § 23538 for a first DUI, § 23542 for a second DUI, § 23548 for a third DUI and § 23552 for a fourth or subsequent DUI within ten years.

Conditions of Probation for a First-Time DUI

When the court decides to grant probation for a first-time DUI offense, the conditions of that probation shall be as follows:

  • Fine: $390 minimum, $1,000 maximum
  • Jail: 48-hours of confinement minimum, 6 months maximum

In addition to fines and jail time, the California Vehicle Code § 23538 states that the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) will then be allowed to suspend the person's driving privileges. In some cases, the court will allow an individual to petition for a restricted driver's license, but subsection 3 of this code says that the court does not have to grant this privilege if they feel the driver poses a safety risk.

Another condition of first-time DUI probation is that the defendant enroll in a drug or alcohol education program. The required days/hours are as follows:

  • BAC lower than .20 percent: Minimum 3 months / 30 hours
  • BAC .20 percent or higher: Minimum 9 months / 60 hours

The court has the right to revoke a DUI offender's probation at any time if they fail to meet any of the conditions of probation, such as paying the fine and attending/enrolling in an alcohol education course.

Conditions of Probation for a Second DUI

The conditions of probation for a second DUI are very similar to the conditions for a first DUI. The major difference is that the lengths of time and required hours are heftier. See below:

  • Jail for 10 days minimum to 1 year maximum AND a fine of $390 to $1,000, OR
  • Jail for 96 hours minimum up to 1 year maximum AND a fine of $390 to $1,000. With this option, the 96 hour jail sentence can be split in half, and those two 48-hour blocks can be served nonconsecutive.

A second-time DUI offender will also face license suspension for a greater length of time than with a first DUI, and participate in 18 to 30 months of an alcohol education program.

Visit VC § 23548 or § 23552 to read about conditions of probation for third and fourth DUI offenses. Remember, if you've been arrested for drunk driving, it is best to retain an aggressive DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Call an Orange County DUI attorney at The Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry today and we will provide you with a free evaluation of your case.


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The Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. - Orange County DUI Attorney
Located at 15635 Alton Parkway, Suite 120 Irvine, CA 92618. View Map
Phone: (877) 384-7833 | Local Phone: (949) 585-7400.