The state of California imposes strict penalties for persons who are charged with a third driving under the influence (DUI) offense. California law enforcement officers consider anyone who is driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater as being an impaired driver and they will be charged with DUI. By the way, if you are a person who is under the age of 21, the standard is 0.01 percent and commercial drivers can be arrested for DUI by having a BAC of 0.04 percent or higher.
It is important to remember that it's not just illegal drugs and alcohol that can get you arrested on a DUI charge in Fresno. Medication, both prescribed and over-the-counter types, make it possible for your driving abilities to be impair to the point that you are considered to be an impaired driver. It's important for you to be aware of the possible side-effects listed on your medications. Side-effects such as drowsiness or dizziness can impact your driving substantially and cause you to be arrested for DUI.
Third DUI offense in California
By the time you are arrested for a third DUI offense, California laws impose harsh penalties. While some of the penalties remain similar to what you will receive for a first or second DUI offense, there are important distinctions to consider. With a third DUI offense, you will lose your driver's license for as much as one year, incur financial penalties of up to $2,000, spend one year in jail and be required to enroll in an alcohol/DUI education program.
If you refuse to submit to the breath or blood chemical test requested by a law enforcement officer designed to determine your BAC at the time of the offense, you will immediately have your driver's license suspended for a period of three years. Obviously, there is a significant difference between submitting and not submitting to the chemical test when it is requested by a Fresno law enforcement officer. The state of California, along with many other states, has an implied consent law, which means that you automatically agree to allow the state to test your BAC in exchange for the privilege of possessing a driver's license in California and have the ability to drive on its roadways.
It is highly likely the prosecutor on your court case will request the court to have you remanded into custody until your case is concluded out of concern for the safety of the community. The court will be concerned about you appearing for pretrial hearings and a trial when considering whether or not you should be held in custody after your arrest. A good DUI defense attorney, who is familiar with the local judges, will be able to position you to avoid being incarcerated throughout the process of your case. This way, you may be able to keep working and providing for your family.
Alcohol/DUI education in Fresno
Should you be convicted of a third DUI offense in Fresno, the alcohol/DUI education program you are required to attend will be longer and more time consuming than the programs for first or second time DUI offenders. A conviction for a third DUI offense may result in a requirement to attend a 30 month program. This program will include:
- 78 hours of group counseling;
- 12 hours of specific alcohol and drug education;
- 120-300 hours of community service; and-regularly scheduled individual interviews.
With a third DUI conviction, you will again be required to purchase and have on file, an SR22, for a period of three years. This will result in an increase in your auto insurance premium at 2-3 times higher than the premium for regular auto insurance.
Contact an attorney
If you are facing charges related to a first offense DUI, do not think that your only choice is to plead guilty. Take a moment to contact Terry A. Wapner and schedule a consultation in order to discuss the facts of your case and be advised of your options.