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How Serious Is a Second DUI?

Any DUI charge is serious and is best handled by a skilled attorney, but just how serious are second DUIs compared to first-time drunk driving charges? In the state of California, each subsequent DUI within ten years poses the possibility of increased penalties.

Below, compare the penalties for a first-time DUI (left column) with penalties for a second DUI (right).

First DUI:

  • 96 hours to 6 months in jail
  • $390 to $1,000 fine
  • 4 months license suspension

Second DUI:

  • 90 days to 1 year in jail
  • $390 to $1,000 fine
  • 12 months license suspension

Also, with each subsequent DUI within 10 years there is an increased likelihood that the court will deny the issuance of a restricted driver's license. Some DUI offenders who get their licenses suspended are able to apply for a restricted license, sometimes called a "hardship license," in order to drive while their license is suspended, but in a limited capacity. While restricted licenses are available to both first and second DUI offenders, the court reserves the right to disallow this privilege.

The conditions of probation are also different for second DUIs. With a first-time DUI, you may have to enroll and participate in a DUI education course for 30 hours. With a second DUI, offenders must enroll and participate in an 18-month alcohol education course.

If you already have one DUI on your record and need to avoid a second, do not hesitate to contact an Orange County DUI attorney at our law firm. The Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry can fight for you to avoid the heavy consequences of a second DUI conviction within 10 years of your first. Call today to schedule a free case evaluation.