California’s DUI Laws: Not As Tough As Many

People picked up for a DUI in Los Angeles may be luckier than they think. If they were arrested in other states, the penalties could be much higher, especially for repeat offenders.los-angeles-DUI-statistics-2015

The website WalletHub.com recently released the results of its study on the strictest and most lenient states for DUI punishment. California ranks in the bottom half for the harshness of its penalties, coming in at 31st.

The study looked at 15 key metrics, such as minimum jail time for first and subsequent offenses, minimum fines, the number of DUI offenses it takes before a defendant is charged with a felony and whether or not there are more severe penalties imposed if a defendant’s blood alcohol content is very high.

WalletHub gave Arizona the nod as being the strictest when it comes to DUI enforcement. The Grand Canyon State has a minimum sentence of 10 days in jail and requires a mandatory ignition interlock for a first offense. Second-time offenders must serve 90 days, and third-time offenders are looking at automatic felony charges. In South Dakota, which has the dubious distinction of being the most lax when it comes to DUI penalties, there’s no minimum sentence for any DUI offenses (first or subsequent), and no provision at all for an ignition interlock device.

In California, the minimum sentence for a first-time DUI offender is two days in jail and 10 days minimum for repeat offenders. Felony DUI charges aren’t mandatory until the fourth offense, and there’s no statewide law requiring a mandatory ignition interlock device for a DUI offense.

As a frequent contributor to respected media, like The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and Good Morning America, Los Angeles DUI attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group understands what it takes to build successful defenses in complex DUI cases. Contact him and his team today to schedule a consultation.


Did you get arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles? If so, contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut for assistance by phone at (323) 464-6453 or online. We’re located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, California 90028.

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