Impaired driving — also known as driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) —carries grave legal consequences. A DUI/DWI conviction is usually costly. Persons who are convicted of the offense may have to pay large fines, give up their driving license, or even serve jail time.

In this article, we will shed light on the penalties for DUI/DWI driving in California. You should get help of an experienced DUI attorney in San Bernardino to know more about penalties regarding your case.

Drunk Driving Penalties in California

The penalties for DUI differ depending on the circumstances surrounding the arrest. Two important factors that determine penalties served for a drunk driving offense in the Inland Empire include the following:

  • Whether a person had received a conviction for drunk driving within the past 10 years
  • Whether drunk driving resulted in a bodily injury or death

Assuming there is no bodily injury or death, the DUI/DWI conviction is considered a misdemeanor. In such a situation, the maximum penalty for a first DUI conviction in Inland Empire is $1,000. In addition, the convict may also have to pay more than $2,600 in penalty assessment, face six months’ jail time, and a license suspension of up to ten months depending on the alcohol level when caught driving under the influence. The vehicle can also be impounded for 30 days and the driver may be required to install an ‘interlock’ breath device that costs around $800.

For a second conviction, again assuming there is no injury or death, the maximum penalty is $1,000 (including $2,600 in penalty assessment), a jail time of up to a year, and a license suspension of up to two years. Also, the vehicle can be impounded and the driver may be required to install an ‘interlock’ breath device at their own expense.

The maximum penalty for third and subsequent convictions include a fine of up to $5,000 (plus $13,000 in penalty assessment), a jail time of up to 16 months for fourth and subsequent offense, revocation of driving license for three to four years, and impoundment and even forfeiture of the vehicle.

What are the DUI/DWI Penalties if Someone is Injured or Killed?

If someone is injured or killed, and a blood alcohol level of more than 0.08 percent is found, the driver will be charged with a felony. The penalties are more severe and can result in anywhere from one to five years in prison apart from the fines. In addition, the convict may have to face a personal injury case brought by the injured party.

If you have been arrested for suspicion of DUI in Fontana, or elsewhere in San Bernardino or Riverside County you should immediately consult a professional DUI defense attorney. Our Inland Empire DUI/DWI defense lawyers can provide you with expert counsel regarding your case. We can help you in lessening the charges so that you don’t face grave difficulties due to the offense