As someone who was recently arrested for DUI in Los Angeles, you’re feeling pretty down about your situation. California Vehicle Code Section 23512 spells out a variety of punishments — all unpleasant — that could be in your near-term future. These could include fines and fees, court costs, probation, alcohol school, suspension of your CA license, forced installation of an IID device in your car and, of course, jail time.
That’s all less than ideal.
That said, give serious thanks that you did not drive DUI in El Salvador. Why? Because in that country, first time DUI offenders can be punished by death by firing squad!
Let’s take a tour of other DUI punishments from around the world:
• In the Southeast Asian country of Malaysia, the law of the land says that if you get caught for DUI, not only will you go to jail but your wife will to go to jail, too – even if she didn’t do anything wrong!
• In South Africa, first time DUI offenders can get a decade long jail sentence on top of a fine equal to $10,000.
• In Russia, authorities can revoke your driver’s license for life if you get a DUI.
• In Turkey, if you’re busted for DUI, police can take you 20 miles beyond the town’s borders and march you back by foot via police escort.
• Bulgaria is almost as intolerant of DUIs as El Salvador is — a second conviction results in execution. (For comparison, a second Los Angeles DUI conviction within 10 years results in escalated penalties as well. You might face a little more jail time, stricter probation terms, more alcohol school, and so forth. But odds are extremely low that you will be executed by firing squad.)
• Scandinavian countries are also known for their extremely stringent anti-DUI laws. Sweden and Finland both punish the offense with a mandatory one-year jail sentence. In Norway, you lose your license for a year. Two offenses in five years leads to a Russia-style revocation of your driver’s license for life.
• If you get convicted of Los Angeles DUI, you may find it difficult to travel to Mexico and Canada, both of which have laws on the books that allow Border Patrol agents to stop you from entering their countries if you have a DUI conviction on your record.
• Even our “civilized friends” across the pond in England and France have tougher DUI laws than we have in the U.S. In France, you get a $1,000 fine, a whole year in jail and the loss of your driver’s license for three years.
• In England, you get a $250 fine, a year license suspension and up to a year behind bars.
Of course, this article is not meant to convince you that you’re “all in the clear” just because you got arrested in the United States, where the laws are slightly more lenient. In fact, we still live in a relatively punitive society. Fortunately, the team here at the Kraut Law Group can help you come up with an effective, intelligent Los Angeles DUI defense strategy.