Police

DUI Laws In California

Crime & Penalties

  • VC 13352.3: Person under 18 years of age, convicted of 23152 or 23153.
    Penalty: In addition to other penalties (23140), driver license revocation until age 18, or one year, or specified terms outlined in VC 13352, whichever is longer.
  • VC 23136: It is unlawful for persons under 21 years of age to drive with a BAC of .01 or more.
    Penalty: Administrative license revocation, suspension or delay of issuance. Note: This penalty is administrative only.
  • VC 23140: It is unlawful for persons under 21 years of age to drive with a BAC of .05 or more.
    Penalty: In addition to other penalties (23152), may be ordered to attend a Youthful Drunk Driver Visitation Program.
    Note: Constitutes Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
  • VC 23152 (a & b): Driving under the influence of alcohol (BAC .08 or more, or .04 or more while driving a commercial vehicle) or drugs.
    Penalty:
    • 1st Offense - 96 hours (at least 48 of which shall be continuous) - 6 months county jail, fine, 6 months license suspension, probation, treatment program;
    • 2nd Offense - 96 hours to 1 year county jail, fine, 24 months license suspension, probation, treatment program;
    • 3rd Offense - 120 days to 1 year county jail, fine, 3 years license revocation and determination as a habitual traffic offender, probation, treatment program;
    • 4th Offense - (see VC 23550)
      Note: Court may order the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for up to 3 years and shall give heightened consideration to those with BAC of .20 or more.
  • VC 23153 (a & b): Driving under the influence of alcohol (BAC .08 or more, or .04 or more while driving a commercial vehicle) or drugs and causing bodily injury.
    Penalty:
    • 1st Offense - 90 days to 1 year county jail, or state prison, 1 year license suspension/revocation, probation, treatment program;
    • 2nd Offense - 120 days to 1 year county jail, or state prison, fine, 3 years license revocation, probation, treatment program;
    • 3rd offense - 120 to 1 year county jail, fine, 3 years license revocation and determination as a habitual traffic offender, probation, treatment program;
    • 4th Offense - (see VC 23550)
      Note: Court may order the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for up to 3 years and shall give heightened consideration to those with BAC of .20 or more.
  • VC 23220: No person shall drink any alcoholic beverage while in a motor vehicle.
  • VC 23222(a): No person shall have in his or her possession on his or her person, while driving a motor vehicle upon a highway, any alcoholic beverage that has been opened.
  • VC23222 (b): Every person who possesses, while driving a motor vehicle upon a highway, not more than one ounce of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis as defined by Section 11006.5 of the Health and Safety Code, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
  • VC23223: No person shall have in his or her possession on his or her person, while in a motor vehicle upon a highway, any alcoholic beverage that has been opened.
  • VC 23224: No person under the age of 21 shall knowingly drive a motor vehicle carrying any alcoholic beverage, for the purpose of transportation of the alcoholic beverage, unless the person is accompanied by a parent or responsible adult relative, or designee, or is employed by a licensee under the ABC and driving in the course of employment.
    Penalty: Loss of license, possible vehicle impoundment for 1 to 30 days.
  • VC 23550: Fourth convicted DUI offense within 7 years.
    Penalty: 180 days to 1 year county jail, or 16 months, 2, 3 years state prison.
    Note: Considered a "wobbler." May be charged as a misdemeanor or felony at the discretion of the prosecutor.
  • VC 23550.5: If charged with 23152 or 23153 within 10 years of a prior 23152 or 23153 that was punished as a felony, or PC 191.5 or 192(c)(3).
    Penalty: May be charged as a felony. Up to 1-year county jail or state prison, up to $1,000 fine, license revocation, for a habitual traffic offender.
  • VC 23558: Penalty enhancement for causing death or serious injury and injuring more than one person while driving under the influence and convicted of the offense.
    Penalty: One additional year per injured victim; 3 years maximum.
  • VC 23572: Penalty enhancement for a conviction of 23152 with a minor under 14 years of age in the vehicle.
    Penalty:
    • 1st Offense - additional 48 hours county jail;
    • 2nd Offense - additional 10 days county jail;
    • 3rd Offense - additional 30 days county jail;
    • 4th Offense - additional 90 days county jail.
      Note: May also be charged as Felony Child Endangerment under PC 273(a).
  • VC 23577: Penalty enhancement for refusal to submit to, or willful failure to complete, a chemical est.
    Penalty:
    • 1st Offense (23152 or 23153) - same as penalties for 23152 or 23153;
    • 2nd Offense (23152 or 23153) - additional 96 hours county jail;
    • 3rd Offense (23152) - additional 10 days county jail;
    • 4th Offense (23152) - additional 18 days county jail.
  • VC 23582: Penalty enhancement for 23152 or 23153 while also driving 30 or more mph over the maximum, prima facie, or posted speed limit on a freeway, or 20 or more mph over the maximum prima facie, or posted speed limit on any other street or highway.
    Penalty: Additional consecutive term of 60 days county jail, alcohol/drug treatment program.
  • VC 23592: Vehicle impoundment if registered owner convicted of 23152 and causing a collision, or 23153, PC 191.5 or 192(c)(3).
    Penalty: Court may impound vehicle for up to 6 months for 1st offense, up to 12 months for 2nd or subsequent offenses.
    Note: Impoundment is left to the judge's discretion, and not imposed if the vehicle is the sole vehicle of the family or community property and shared by the offender's spouse.
  • VC 23594: Vehicle impoundment if registered owner convicted of 23152 with no collision.
    Penalty: Court may impound vehicle for 1-30 days.
    Note: Impoundment is left to the judge's discretion, and not imposed if the vehicle is sole vehicle of the family or community property and shared by the offender's spouse.

Hit and Run

  • VC 20001: Hit and Run causing injury or death>
    Penalty: 90 days county jail, 2,3 or 4 years state prison, or a fine of not less than $1000 nor more than $10,000, or by both fine and imprisonment.
    Note: Considered a "wobbler." May be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.
  • VC 20002: Misdemeanor Hit and Run without injury.
    Penalty: County jail not exceeding 6 months, or fine not exceeding $1000, or both.

Vehicular Manslaughter

  • PC 191.5: Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, with gross negligence.
    Penalty: Up to 1-year county jail, or 4,6 or 10 years state prison.
    Note: With one or more priors of this or certain other vehicular felonies, 15 years to life in state prison ("Courtney's Law").
  • PC 192(c)(1): Vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, without intoxication.
    Penalty: Up to 1-year county jail, or 2,4, or 6 years state prison.
  • PC 192 (c)(2): Vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence, without intoxication.
    Penalty: Up to 1-year county jail.
  • PC 192 (c)(3): Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, without gross negligence.
    Penalty: Up to 1-year county jail, or 16 months, 2, or 4 years state prison.

Second Degree Murder

  • PC 187: The unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought - Second Degree Murder.
    Penalty: 15 years to life in state prison.
  • The above charges and penalties are for the State of California only.
  • VC: California Vehicle Code
  • PC: California Penal Code.
  • Driver license suspension/revocation may allow for certain driving privileges during working hours, to and from place of employment, or during the course of employment.
  • In all cases the offender may be mandated to pay restitution to the crime victim and/or to the state Crime Victim Compensation Fund.
  • Only convictions within seven years of current offense may be considered as priors for the purpose of determining the new charge, except in the case of a prior felony charge within 10 years.