8Apr 2015
Apr 8, 2015

What is ‘legally drunk’ in California?

In California, drivers who are below 21 years old are considered to be legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is more than .01, non-commercial drivers above 21 years are legally drunk if their blood alcohol level is more than .08. For commercial vehicle drivers, they are legally drunk if their blood alcohol level is more than .04.

California Drunk Driving Penalties

For first time offenders, they face a prison term in a county jail for 4 to six months and the offender must pay a fine of $390 t0 $1,000. The suspension period for the offender’s driver’s license is six months.  For offenders who get their second DUI conviction within 1o years of their previous conviction, they face a prison sentence of 3 months to one year and subjected to pay a fine between $390 and $1,000. The revocation period of the offender’s driver’s license is two years. For third time offenders, they face a prison term of 4 months to one year in a county jail and subjected to a fine between $390 and $1,000. The revocation period for the offender’s driver’s license is three years. For drivers who are convicted for a fourth time or more within  a ten year period of the previous convictions,  they face a jail term of six months to one year in a state prison or in a county jail and are subjected to a fine between $390 and $1,000. The revocation period for the offender’s driver’s license is four years.

Although underage DUI offenders can be prosecuted under the same law that applies to adults, first time offenders who are below 21 years old have their driving privileges suspended and required to complete an alcohol education program. The offender’s license will only be reinstated after he/she submits proof of completion of an alcohol education program.

The Point System in California

The point system is used by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to rate driving records. Drivers start with a clean driving record but the number and type of convictions you get will determine the points on your driving record. For driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) you will earn two points. Other violations that will earn you points include: Reckless driving, driving on the sidewalk, over speeding, disobedience to traffic signs, disregarding traffic officer’s directions and driving with a revoked or suspended license.