San Diego DUI Laws – What Are the Possible Penalties?

Getting a DUI can be a scary experience, especially if you don’t know what to expect when you go to court. If you live in San Diego and get a DUI, there are specific penalties that can be handed down. The following information is about these laws and the differences in the penalties if you already have a conviction for driving under the influence.

The Possible Penalties for Your First DUI in San Diego

The penalties for driving under the influence in San Diego are a combination of fines, alcohol and drug rehab programs, jail time, and license restrictions. All of these penalties are at the discretion of the judge and the prosecutor will make sentencing recommendations in the event that you are found or plead guilty. For the first offense, the possible penalties are:

1. Fines ranging from $390 to $1000.
2. 48 hours to 6 months in the county jail.
3. 6 months of driver’s license suspension
4. Drug and alcohol program

Other possible penalties include the impoundment of your vehicle for up to six months, community service, ignition interlock device, and MADD impact panel. If probation is part of the imposed sentence, then additional monetary penalties may be imposed, but the drug and alcohol program may be omitted.

The Possible Penalties for Your Second DUI in San Diego

If convicted of a second occurrence of driving under the influence within 10 years, the penalties are higher. These may include:

1. Fines ranging form $390 to $1000.
2. 96 hours to 1 year in the county jail.
3. 2 year license suspension
4. Ignition interlock device

If probation is not part of the sentence, then the jail time may be from 90 days to 1 year in the county jail. The judge also can impound your vehicle, sentence you to community service, and make you attend the MADD impact panel.

The Possible Penalties for Your Third DUI in San Diego

If convicted of a third occurrence of driving under the influence within 10 years, you can expect to spend some serious time in jail and that you will not be driving for quite a while.

1. Fines ranging from $390 to $1000
2. 4 months to 1 year in the county jail
3. 3 year license revocation
4. 18 month alcohol program
5. Ignition interlock device

The judge may also impose the additional penalties listed above. There are also significant additional monetary penalties that may be imposed.

The Possible Penalties for Your Fourth DUI in San Diego

The fourth conviction of driving under the influence will almost definitely get you time in the state penitentiary. The judge will no longer be able to sentence you to time in the county jail. The possible penalties with no probation are:

1. Fines ranging from $390 to $1000
2. 16 to 36 months in the state penitentiary
3. 4 years license revocation
4. 18 month alcohol program
5. Ignition interlock device

The above penalties do not factor any other circumstances, such as an accident, property damage, prior felony convictions, work zone tickets, or any number other factors.

San Diego Courts

There are four main San Diego courts that will handle your DUI case. They are the East, North, and South County Courts, and the Ramona Court. The Ramona Court handles traffic and minor offenses, but the other three courts deal with criminal matters that are more serious. Where you received your driving under the influence charge will determine which court your case will be heard.

In Closing

A DUI is a serious offense and one that you should not take lightly. Seek the advice of an experienced lawyer to help you understand all the laws and options that are available to you.