The Cost of 3rd DUI in California
After the police arrest you with a DUI, or wet reckless driving, the arresting officer forwards a notice of suspension of your driving license to the DMV. The DMV reviews the license to decide whether to uphold the suspension or the revocation.
If the DMV’s review decides to uphold the suspension, you have a right to contest their decision. Ensure you challenge the decision within 10 days after receiving the suspension notice.
The DMV administrative review doesn’t always decide on suspending or revoking your license. At times, they may find the action unnecessary, in which case they’ll write you a notice that they have set the action aside and reinstated your license.
The law identifies driving under the influence as a violation of CVC 23152, which defines operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If charged with the offenses, the law must prove that:
- You were driving while intoxicated
- You had a blood alcohol concentration, BAC, of 0.08% or greater
- It was your third DUI offense in 10 years
Punishment for a 3rd DUI
The penalties for a 3rd DUI are greater than a 2nd and can be greater if there was an injury or a child in the car during the accident. The law considers this offense as a misdemeanor, and when found guilty, you may face:
- 3 to 5 years of probation
- 120 days to 1 year jail time
- 30 months court-approved time in DUI school
- A fine of $2,500 to $3,000
- License suspension for 3 years
- House arrest
In addition to completing the driving under the influence program, the judge may also impose collateral punishments. These sentences may require you to attend hospital and morgue programs, AA programs, rehab, community labor, and ignition interlock device installation.
While an ignition interlock installation device is not mandatory after the 2nd DUI in California, the judge will require you to have it after a wet reckless offense after 10 years. In addition, the judge requires you to have the device on any other car you may drive after the period of your license revocation has expired.
The judge presiding over your case may decide to substitute your jail time with a house arrest. In this case, you will serve your jail time in the comfort of your home. However, you will have to wear an ankle monitor to notify the authority when you leave the house. In addition, violating the house arrest terms may get you arrested, forcing you to finish your sentence in jail.
If you have a serious alcoholism issue, the judge may substitute your jail time with rehabilitation. During this period, the program will provide you with counseling, workshops, and classes to support your path to recovery. However, the judge will only grant you this option if you show willingness and commitment to recover from your addiction.
Unlike a DUI school after 2nd DUI that lasts 18 months, a DUI school after 3rd DUI in California lasts for 30 months. During this time, you will undergo 78 hours of group counseling, 12 hours of drug and alcohol education, close and regular individual interviews, and 300 hours of community service.
The terms of your probation are tougher and longer after the 3rd DUI. The terms may include:
- Attending AA meetings
- Not to commit any criminal offense
- Maintaining an immeasurable alcohol content while driving
- Undergo a preliminary alcohol test during a traffic stop
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How to Beat 3rd DUI in California
Once charged with a wet reckless offense, the prosecutor needs to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Unfortunately, the process of proving you guilty is hard for the DA. However, you can take advantage and find legal flaws that can help you get out of a DUI.
But to succeed in this, you will need a DUI attorney to help you analyze the critical evidence required to convict you under VC 23152. A professional DUI attorney will help you win a DUI case by using any of the following tactics:
Proving Inaccuracy in Breathalyzer
After being involved in a DUI accident, the officer must prove you had a high blood alcohol concentration. In most cases, the officers use a breathalyzer to determine your BAC. However, the analyzer doesn’t directly measure alcohol concentration in your blood. Instead, it measures breath alcohol and multiplies it by partition ratio to estimate your BAC.
Several factors determine the actual ratio of your BAC, ranging from:
- Breathing patterns
- Hematocrit levels
- Body temperature
While the analyzer assumes that the ratio of alcohol inhaled in your blood should be 1:2100, the actual ratio ranges between 1:1300 to 1:3000 depending on the above factors. Your attorney can try and prove several issues that may lead to false-positive breathalyzer results:
- Device margin error
- Physical differences between the drivers, affecting the partition ratio
- Device’s margin error
- Improper use by the arresting office
- Improper device calibration
Unreasonable Cause for DUI Stop
The officer stopping you for a DUI must support their action by proving that you were exhibiting unlawful NHTSA driving impairment habits such as overspeeding or ignoring stoplights.
If the arresting officer doesn’t have probable cause or reasonable suspicion for stopping you, your DUI attorney will file a motion to suppress the officer’s motion. In the motion, your attorney will request the court to quash the usage of evidence obtained illegally.
Gut Fermentation Syndrome
A BAC test may show high alcohol concentration if you suffer from the auto-brewery syndrome, also known as gut fermentation. The rare medical condition causes one’s digestive system to produce alcohol even without drinking alcohol.
Auto-brewery syndrome results from various medical conditions like diabetes and short bowel syndrome. Your attorney can request a medical test to prove that you have the disease, getting your DUI case dismissed.
DUI with No Prove You Were Driving
When charging you for a DUI, the prosecutor needs to prove that you were actually behind the wheels. The prosecutor will have a hard time proving you guilty if:
- The arresting officer found you drunk in a parked car
- Your car was involved in an accident, but no one witnessed you driving the vehicle
Police Error In Setting Sobriety Checkpoint
There are several factors that the police must follow before setting up a sobriety checkpoint. Your attorney can prove to the court that the officers deviated from these rules when setting up the checkpoint. The attorney achieves this by filing litigation under the 4th amendment prohibiting unlawful search and seizure.