DUI Frequently Asked Questions

  • DUI
  • I’ve been arrested for DUI, what should I expect now?

    A DUI arrest triggers two separate processes. First, the DMV begins an administrative action to suspend your license. You have 10 days to request a hearing to fight to keep your license. Second, the district attorney will file criminal DUI charges against you. When you are released from jail, you will be given a date and time to appear in court.

  • Can I still get a DUI if I’m below the legal limit?

    Yes. A person can be convicted of DUI with blood alcohol below the limit if the prosecutor can show that you were impaired to the point of not being able to drive as safely as a sober person.

  • How long is your license suspended for a DUI?

    For a typical first DUI, the DMV will suspend your driving privilege for one month.  After a month, you can apply for a restricted license that allows you to drive to and from work.

  • Is driving while high a DUI?

    Yes. All 50 states have laws against driving under the influence of drugs.  The law is Penal Code section 23152(e).  Unlike with alcohol, there is no blood level in the law that creates a presumption dictating when a person is under the influence.

  • What time of night do most drunk driving accidents occur?

    Most alcohol related accidents occur at night between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2011 was 4.5 times higher at night than during the day (36% versus 8%). Source: NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts 2011 Data.

  • How much is a DUI fine in California?

    The combined cost of fines and penalties for a first DUI average about $1,500 and depend on the county.

  • How much are DUI classes in California?

    DUI classes are roughly $675 for 3 months of classes, $860 for 6 months of classes, and $1,140 for 9 months of classes. Multiple offender classes are 18 months and can cost $1,700. It depends on the county.

  • How long are DUI Classes?

    DUI classes can run 3, 6, 9, or 12 months for first offenders.  For multiple offenders, the classes may be 18 or 30 months.

  • Where can I find DUI classes?

    DUI classes in California must be licensed by the Department of Healthcare Services. A complete list of licensed DUI programs can be found here.

  • What is the legal limit for alcohol in California?
    • In California, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher if you are 21 years or older. Vehicle Code section 23152(b).
    • If you are under 21 years old, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol of 0.01%. The penalties may vary if the blood alcohol level is between 0.01%-0.04%, 0.05%-0.07%, or 0.08% and higher.
    • It is illegal for commercial license holders (Class A, Class B, or Class C with an endorsement) from operating a commercial motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.04% or higher. Vehicle Code section 23152(d).
  • What is the phone number for DMV the office that handles DUIs?

    It depends on where you were arrested. You can call the office listed below that is closest to where you were arrested.

    Bakersfield (661) 833-2103
    City of Commerce (323) 724-4000
    City of Orange (714) 703-2511
    Covina (626) 974-7137
    El Segundo (310) 615-3500
    Fresno (559) 445-6399
    Oakland (510) 563-8900
    Oxnard (805) 988-3050
    Redding (530) 224-4755
    Sacramento (916) 227-2970
    San Bernardino (909) 383-7413
    San Diego (858) 627-3901
    San Francisco (415) 557-1170
    San Jose (408) 229-7100
    Stockton (209) 948-7715
    Van Nuys (818) 376-4217
  • How much time will I go into custody for a DUI?

    For your first DUI you will probably not do in-custody time. For a 2nd DUI, the minimum is 4 days in custody. For a 3rd DUI, the minimum is 6 days in custody. The maximum time in custody depends on the county and the facts of your case.

  • How long is my temporary license valid?

    If you have contested the DMV action, your temporary license is valid pending the outcome of your DMV hearing. Once DMV issues a decision, the decision letter will include a day your suspension begins.

  • Can I drive during my 30 day suspension?

    No. Your license is totally suspended during the 30 days. It is not a restricted license.

  • I'm under 21, how long will I lose my license?

    Generally, those under 21 will lose their license for 1 year after a DUI conviction. However, if you have a critical need, DMV allows you to apply for your license during that year. See the critical need form here.

  • I have a Class A license, how long will I lose my license?

    People with commercial licenses will lose their license for 1 year after being convicted with a DUI. A second DUI will result in a lifetime revocation of a person's commercial license. This is true even if the person was not driving the commercial vehicle at the time of the arrest.

  • How are DUIs handled for people under 18?

    DUIs are handled very differently for people under 18. They are prosecuted through the juvenile court and the consequences are not as standardized as with adult DUIs.

Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney

If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI, contact us for a free case evaluation.

Give us a call (916) 444-6595, or fill out the contact form below. Our Sacramento DUI lawyers are here to fight for you and your family every step of the way.