California DUI LAW

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California Vehicle Code VC 23538 - Conditions of Probation: First Conviction.

23538. (a) (1) If the court grants probation to person punished under Section 23536, in addition to the provisions of Section 23600 and any other terms and conditions imposed by the court, the court shall impose as a condition of probation that the person pay a fine of at least three hundred ninety dollars ($390), but not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000). The court may also impose, as a condition of probation, that the person be confined in a county jail for at least 48 hours, but not more than six months.

(2) The person’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle shall be suspended by the department under paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 13352. The court shall require the person to surrender the driver’s license to the court in accordance with Section 13550.

(3) Whenever, when considering the circumstances taken as a whole, the court determines that the person punished under this section would present a traffic safety or public safety risk if authorized to operate a motor vehicle during the period of suspension imposed under paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 13352, the court may disallow the issuance of a restricted driver’s license required under Section 13352.4.

(b) In any county where the board of supervisors has approved, and the State Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs has licensed, a program or programs described in Section 11837.3 of the Health and Safety Code, the court shall also impose as a condition of probation that the driver shall enroll and participate in, and successfully complete a driving-under-the-influence program, licensed pursuant to Section 11836 of the Health and Safety Code, in the driver’s county of residence or employment, as designated by the court. For the purposes of this subdivision, enrollment in, participation in, and completion of an approved program shall be subsequent to the date of the current violation. Credit may not be given for any program activities completed prior to the date of the current violation.

(1) The court shall refer a first offender whose blood-alcohol concentration was less than 0.20 percent, by weight, to participate for at least three months or longer, as ordered by the court, in a licensed program that consists of at least 30 hours of program activities, including those education, group counseling, and individual interview sessions described in Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 11836) of Part 2 of Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

(2) The court shall refer a first offender whose blood-alcohol concentration was 0.20 percent or more, by weight, or who refused to take a chemical test, to participate for at least ( )1 nine months or longer, as ordered by the court, in a licensed program that consists of at least ( )2 60 hours of program activities, including those education, group counseling, and individual interview sessions described in Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 11836) of Part 2 of Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

(3) The court shall advise the person at the time of sentencing that the driving privilege shall not be restored until proof satisfactory to the department of successful completion of a driving-under-the-influence program of the length required under this code that is licensed pursuant to Section 11836 of the Health and Safety Code has been received in the department’s headquarters.

(c) (1) The court shall revoke the person’s probation pursuant to Section 23602, except for good cause shown, for the failure to enroll in, participate in, or complete a program specified in subdivision (b).

(2) The court, in establishing reporting requirements, shall consult with the county alcohol program administrator. The county alcohol program administrator shall coordinate the reporting requirements with the department and with the State Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs. That reporting shall ensure that all persons who, after being ordered to attend and complete a program, may be identified for either (A) failure to enroll in, or failure to successfully complete, the program, or (B) successful completion of the program as ordered.

(d) This section shall become operative on September 20, 2005.

Added Sec. 16.5, Ch. 551, Stats. 2004. Effective January 1, 2005. Operative September 20, 2005.
Amended Sec. 3, Ch. 164, Stats. 2005. Effective January 1, 2006.
The 2005 amendment added the italicized material, and at the point(s) indicated, deleted the following:

  1. “six”
  2. “45”

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California DUI arrests (also known as DWI) trigger two separate cases: the DMV action, where a person's driving privileges hang in the balance, and the court case, where a variety of DUI punishment is available. For anyone charged with drunk driving in California, it is vital to note that persons arrested for DUI have only 10 days from the date of arrest to request a hearing with the DMV. If someone arrested for drunk driving does not request the hearing on time, his or her license will be suspended, automatically, on the 30th day following the arrest. It is critical for anyone charged with a California DUI or other drunk driving offense to obtain the services of a California DUI lawyer that understands the relationship between the court and DMV.

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