What’s the Penalty for a Second DUI in California?

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second dui california

You can be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in California if you drive under the influence of alcohol, with a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater, or you are under the influence of drugs.

Additional penalties apply to people charged with DUI that have a prior DUI within the past 10 years.

The punishments for a 2nd DUI include:

  • Probation,
  • Fines,
  • Jail time,
  • Completion of a DUI school, and
  • Suspension of your driver’s license.

The specific punishments you might receive depending on the facts of your case and the county where you’re charged.

If charged with a second DUI in California, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.


Probation is when the court puts you under supervision for a period of time instead of sending you to jail.

For a second DUI, you can get three to five years of probation.

Courts often impose conditions that you must follow while on probation.

Mandatory conditions of probation include:

  • Not driving with any measurable amount of alcohol in your body;
  • Having to consent to an alcohol content test if arrested; and 
  • Not committing any crimes while on probation.

Some additional conditions that the court might impose include:

  • Attending alcoholics anonymous or narcotics anonymous meetings;
  • Installing an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on any car you own for up to three years; 
  • Selling or transferring your vehicle; and
  • Compensating the victim for financial losses related to the DUI if a crash or wreck occurred (restitution).

To get an idea of the length and conditions that the state could impose during your potential probation period, talk to a criminal defense lawyer today.

Jail Time and Fines

You can receive both jail time and fines for committing a second DUI in California.

The length of the jail sentence you could receive varies from at least 96 hours to a maximum of one year.

The cost of the fines you could receive for a second DUI range from $390 to $1,000. 

However, you will also have to pay for numerous “penalty assessments” that will increase your total fine to well over $2,000 in most counties.  

Completion of a DUI School

Another penalty you will likely face for a second DUI in California is a requirement that you complete a state-licensed DUI school.

DUI school consists of alcohol education and prevention programs.

The length of DUI school for a second DUI is either 18 or 30 months, depending on your blood alcohol content at the time of the arrest.

DUI schools generally cost between $1,900 and $3,000 depending on their length.

Suspension of Your Driver License

The California Department of Motor Vehicles can suspend your driver’s license for up to two years for a second DUI conviction.

What Should I Do If I’m Charged with a 2nd DUI in California?

If you have been charged with a second DUI in California, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Hiring a criminal defense lawyer provides you the best chance at potentially reducing or eliminating criminal charges.

The criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, have handled well over 100 jury trials.

They will use their experience in the criminal justice system to provide a strong defense against your second DUI charge.

Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong


Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm in June 2007. Mr. Armstrong attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, and received his B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University. Kerry L. Armstrong became certified by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization for criminal law in August 2020, making him one of the few criminal defense attorneys with a criminal law legal specialization certificate in San Diego County.  Between 2014 – 2019, Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys.

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