A charge for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is always serious. Even if you’re not convicted, just having DUI charges brought against you will often result in certain administrative penalties.
Keep in mind that in order for a DUI charge to be considered a first offense, you must not have faced a DUI conviction within the last 10 years.
Here’s what happens after your first California DUI:
Your License Will Be Suspended
Regardless of whether you are convicted, if you are arrested for a DUI offense in California, you will face the following penalties:
- License suspension
If blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests show that your BAC level is 0.08% or more, the arresting officer will take away your license and provide an “Order of Suspension/Revocation” and a temporary license.
The temporary license is valid for 30 days from the date of issue and your license suspension will take effect once the temporary license expires. You have 10 days from the date you receive the Order of Suspension/Revocation to request a DMV hearing to challenge the suspension.
If you are convicted, you will face additional consequences.
You May Face An Extended License Suspension Period for Refusing a Chemical Test
If you refuse to take a chemical test to determine your BAC, you are technically in violation of California’s implied consent laws. Doing so will result in an automatic license suspension for one year once your temporary license expires.
Even if the outcome of your criminal case is in your favor, your license will remain suspended for a full year.
You Must Complete a DUI Program for License Reinstatement
In order to have your driving privileges reinstated, you must complete an educational DUI Program. These DUI classes can take anywhere from three to nine months and cost $600-$1,200, depending on your BAC and other case elements.