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Can a Second DUI Count as a First?

In Orange County and throughout California, being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) can be frightening, especially when you’ve been convicted of DUI or pleaded down to a “wet reckless” before – both of which are priorable offenses.

If this is the second time you’ve been arrested for DUI in Orange County, in your mind this is your second offense. Doesn’t that mean you’re going to face higher fines, more jail time, and a longer driver’s license suspension than if this was your first DUI offense?

Our question is, “How long ago was your first DUI?” If it was 10, 11, or even 13 years ago, we have good news for you: If the prior DUI or wet reckless was before the 10 year “look-back” period, your second DUI (your current case) will be treated as a first offense!

Will I Be Ordered to Install an IID?

What about an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), will the judge order you to install one in all vehicles that you drive? The answer depends on where you live. If you live in Los Angeles County or another “pilot” county, such as Alameda, Sacramento, or Tulare, you will likely be ordered to install an IID, UNLESS you’re able to avoid the DUI conviction.

You shouldn’t be required to install an IID unless you live in one of the three above counties (LA, Alameda, or Tulare). However, if your license is suspended for DUI and you’re caught driving, you will end up with an IID requirement, even if you live in Orange County.

Wet Reckless Doesn’t Trigger IID Requirements

If you plead down to a “wet reckless,” instead of being found guilty of DUI, the IID requirement will not be triggered even if you are in one of the pilot counties. Your best bet is to contact an Orange County DUI lawyer from the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to fight your DUI charges.

Keep in mind that you have just 10 days from the date of your arrest to contact the DMV and schedule a hearing to address your driving privileges. Regardless of how long it’s been since your first DUI offense, contacting our firm can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.

We offer free consultations and can explain the procedures at your local courthouse, and how the DA typically handles your type of case.

Call (949) 537-2202 to schedule your free case evaluation with Attorney Landry!