California DUI Laws

As of January 1, 2019 anyone suspected of a DUI can have an ignition interlock device immediately installed upon arrest along with restricted driving privileges while their regular license is suspended. In California, SB1046 eliminates the time a person must have a suspended license prior to applying for a restricted license. 

A driver can apply for a restricted license before a DUI conviction after installing an ignition interlock device and meeting other requirements without completing their license suspension or revocation period.

You can have our ignition interlock device installed immediately after arrest while you have a temporary license. The advantage of doing this is that it gives you full unrestricted driving privileges for the duration of your suspension. The alternative after a first offense DUI conviction is to have a temporary license for 30 days after which you serve a 30-day suspension without any driving privileges.

Once that’s complete you are eligible to request a 12-month restricted license that only allows you to travel to and from work (commonly referred to as a “to/from license”). Second and third time DUI offenders can immediately install our ignition interlock device to maintain driving privileges without having to serve a DMV administrative suspension. 

In the State of California all DUI offenders can avoid an interruption in their driving privileges both pre and post-conviction with the installation of an ignition interlock device.

Installation Requirements

The following is required at your installation appointment in California:

  • Valid photo ID (Driver’s License, Military ID, or Passport)
  • Vehicle registration
  • All documents pertaining to your case (court orders)
  • Make sure your vehicle is in good working order, including the horn, battery, and all electrical systems.

California Ignition Interlock Device Laws

These laws can vary depending on the location of the offense, the DUI conviction history of the driver, and the severity of the offense.

  • In Los Angeles County, Alameda County, Sacramento County, and Tulare County any driver who is convicted of a DUI is required to install ignition interlock devices on all vehicles they own or operate.
  • In other California counties ignition interlock devices may be required at the discretion of the court or judicial mandate.

Types of License Suspension in California

Administrative Suspension

An Administrative License Suspension (ALS) is a driver’s license suspension that can be imposed, before any court involvement, on individuals charged with DUI.

Judicial Suspension

Judicial suspension of a driver’s license by the California Department of Motor Vehicles or the courts means they have officially decided that you are no longer allowed to operate a motor vehicle until the suspension or revocation is lifted and your license is reinstated.

DUI Fines and Penalties in California

Fine

  • $390 up to $1,000 + “penalty assessments”, which can substantially increase the total owed to several thousand dollars or more.

Jail Time

  • 48 hours up to 6 months.

Period of License Suspension

  • 30 days up to 6 months.
  • There is also a mandatory 4 month administrative suspension imposed by the California Department of Motor Vehicles if the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more.
  • Drivers who refuse BAC testing face a 1-year administrative suspension.
  • If two suspensions are imposed, they’re typically allowed to run concurrently, so the driver won’t have to complete two separate suspensions.
  • First offenders are typically allowed to apply for a restricted license, which allows them to transport themselves to and from work or school with the use of an ignition interlock device (IID).

Fine

  • $390 up to $1,000 + “penalty assessments”, which can substantially increase the total owed to several thousand dollars or more.

Jail Time

  • 4 days up to 12 months.

Period of License Suspension

  • Usually, 2 years.
  • There is also a mandatory 12 month administrative suspension imposed by the California Department of Motor Vehicles if the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more.
  • Drivers who refuse BAC testing face a 1-year administrative suspension.
  • If two suspensions are imposed, they’re typically allowed to run concurrently, so the driver won’t have to complete two separate suspensions.
  • All second offenders are required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) for at least 12 months.

Fine

  • $390 up to $1,000 + “penalty assessments”, which can substantially increase the total owed to several thousand dollars or more.

Jail Time

  • 120 days up to 12 months.

Period of License Suspension

  • Usually, 3 years.
  • There is also a mandatory 12 month administrative suspension imposed by the California Department of Motor Vehicles if the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more.
  • Drivers who refuse BAC testing face a 1-year administrative suspension.
  • If two suspensions are imposed, they’re typically allowed to run concurrently, so the driver won’t have to complete two separate suspensions.
  • All third-time offenders must install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle for at least 2 years.

Fine

  • $390 up to $1,000 + “penalty assessments”, which can substantially increase the total owed to several thousand dollars or more.

Jail Time

  • 180 days up to 16 months.

Period of License Suspension

  • Usually, 4 years.
  • There is also a mandatory 12 month administrative suspension imposed by the California Department of Motor Vehicles if the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more.
  • Drivers who refuse BAC testing face a 1-year administrative suspension.
  • If two suspensions are imposed, they’re typically allowed to run concurrently, so the driver won’t have to complete two separate suspensions.
  • Four-time offenders are typically allowed to apply for a restricted license, which allows them to transport themselves to and from work or school with the use of an ignition interlock device (IID).

Let’s Get Started

The first step in getting you back on the road is to determine if you’re eligible.

Determine Your Eligibility